I came across this little gizmo the other day. I’m not quite sure what it is, as the makers decided they wouldn’t mark it as an alarm clock, or a radio, or anything like that. They marked it as a Chumby.

Apparently this is the next generation of alarm clocks/photo frames/whatchamacallits. It’s a small computer, with a screen about the size of an iPod screen, sound capabilities, and a “squeeze sensor”. It’s capable of doing “anything you can think of” - as of today the most popular widgets include a Digital Clock (imagine that!), a Flickr photo viewer, Google News, and a ShamuCam.

The product is not available to the general public, but the company (Chumby Industries) is asking for developers and crafters, and offering them beta-versions of the product. They’re shooting for a retail price of $150 or less - about the price of one of those glowing orbs. But it sure looks like the Chumby has much more to offer than an orb showing a few different colors.