When the Chumby hit the market two years ago, it was a cute Wi-Fi widget gadget. It would appear that the next iteration, the Chumby One, loses the squishiness, going with a hard frame instead.
What can you expect out of the Chumby One? For starters, a faster processor that’s been bumped up from 350MHz to 454MHz. It still relies on the widget architecture, so you’ll have access to things like Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, and all other web-connected weather, news, and services. If you want one, you’ll have to wait a few more weeks until its official release. It’ll cost you $100.
Read More | DVICE
Remember those rising files Facebook and Twitter features we told you about? Well, they finally arrived. Verizon FiOS is in the middle of rolling out its Widget Bazaar, which includes Twitter and Facebook integration. You’ll be able to see what others are tweeting in regards to the show that you’re watching in the read-only Twitter widget. For example, if you’re watching a baseball game, you can pull up the Twitter widget to see what others are saying about the same game.
A Facebook widget is also being introduced, and will allow you to see a basic view of your news feed, even allowing you to see your friends photos. While you can’t do any manual updates, the Facebook widget does support sending status updates showing what shows you’re watching. The one caveat here, is that you can currently only have one Facebook profile on a files cable box.
There are other features here as well, as blip.tv, DailyMotion, and Veoh videos will be available to Home Media DVR subscribers.
According to Verizon, this is just the beginning. Their plan is to allow developers access to their open platform so that more interactive files TV applications will be available.
Read More | Verizon FiOS WIdget Bazaar Release
As most of you know, we are big fans of Verizon FiOS here at Gear Live. The actual Internet and television services are stellar, and it’s pretty hard to find fault with things, especially since downtime is almost nonexistent. Sure, we’ve had our issues, but those are all fixed, and at this point it is pretty much smooth sailing.
Today we were inviting to a media briefing at the main hub in Everett, WA, to get a look at some of the current and upcoming features of the Verizon FiOS TV service. We were able to sit down with Eric Rabe, Senior VP of Media Relations for Verizon to get the full scoop. Of course, being who we are, we had to make sure we got questions answered about FiOS Internet and phone services as well, just to be thorough. We will just go through these in no particular order - some of this you already know, while other parts are definitely new:
HD Content: FiOS TV is completely uncompressed through Verizon. They get the signal, and pass it straight through to the subscribers box the way they received it from one of two providers (depending on where you are located.) Every market has a minimum of 100 dedicated HD channels. The caveat here (and it’s a small one) is that the cable box does not have a mode that simply passes through the content to your receiver or television the way it comes in. This means you have to set the FiOS TV cable box to display either 1080i or 720p, and it will either up-convert or down-convert depending on what you choose. I let them know it would be nice to have boxes that just passed through the resolution without any conversion taking place. Of course, if you have a TiVo Series3 or TiVo HD with a FiOS CableCARD, you don’t have this issue.
I also asked about 1080p content, since satellite is currently offering HD content in 1080p. Unfortunately, their answer is that they are a couple of software revisions away from being able to offer that, so no timeline there.
Emtrace Technologies’ Photoskins PS100 has won the Best Overall in Personal Electronics. The portable photo frame can fit in your wallet with only a 4.7 mm thickness and a 2.5-inch hi-def TFT LCD display with 320 x 240 16m colors. Attachable by USB 1.1, the Net connection allows you to download and select between Widgets with only one button, with others giving you further control. With a black gloss front and silver back, Photoskins come with a leather case for portability and a cradle for times when you are busy online.
Read More | Emtrace
Chumby is a new open source device that will display useful as well as entertaining information. It can create flash animation, report news, weather, sports, and celeb gossip, and is completely hackable since it was created by hackers themselves. Chumby’s owners will receive free personalized widgets and information on their Network. Since it is always on, it keeps up to date on all things relevant to your Internet life by WiFi. At a size of 5 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 3 1/4-inches, and in your choice of black, latte, and pearl, it can also handle pictures, music, video, and blogs. It’s creators say it will cost less than $200.00 and are looking for those who want to adopt the little computerized gadget in the near future.
Read More | Chumby Product Page
We all know of and love widgets, regardless of if they are on Windows Vista, in Apple’s Dashboard, or on the web with Yahoo! or Windows Live - but so far to use widgets we have been forced to interact with them on a computer. Emtrace is currently in the final stages of developing the Emtrace Widgetstation, which offers a small widget display and interaction device that can sit anywhere in your house for ‘glance-able’ information.
The Widgetstation features 802.11 technology to enable it to update weather, sports, traffic, or photo information from the web without a computer. I know we here at Gear Live are looking forward to when the Widgetstation hits retail so we can keep track of incoming emails and IMs when not glued to our workstations. This looks to be the perfect desk or bedroom accessory for anyone looking for a quick way to keep up to date.
Currently the Widgetstation uses proprietary widget formats, however Emtrace is working on technologies to enable the Widgetstation to work with other formats of widgets from Microsoft, Apple, and others. Look for it soon in the $200 price range.