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Chumby: portable Wi-Fi device you can make your own

Not so sure that the name will catch on, but the functionality just might …

It’s the Chumby, and it’s a dial-your-own-access to the Web device that you can hold in your hands or put in your purse or backpack. Its key functionality is Wi-Fi, and you can use that wireless ‘net access to download audio and video files, upload photos, get news and sports scores, and basically do everything else you would want to do on the Net. The only difference–and it’s a big one–is that all of that information can be stored on this ultra-portable device, using the full-size USB connector on the back.

If you’re searching the photo looking for a keyboard, you can stop looking. Chumby doesn’t have one. It has no keys at all. You can, however, communicate with the device in a much simpler way, by tapping it and activating the “squeeze sensor.” You can use this to customize your viewing experience.

The Chumby is slightly larger than the largest smartphone and certainly less expensive. (Initial company reports insist that the price tag will ultimately be less than US$150.) You’ll also be able to customize the outward appearance of your Chumby: the company encourages creativity to match their own.

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