The 7” Sony Dash Personal Internet Viewer, the successor to the Chumby, a device with a similar form factor launched in April 2010 also had a similar aim, which was to replace your boring old alarm clock with a device that provided summarized versions of your favourite websites on a touch-centric interface. Certainly beats damaging your clock when waking in the morning, albeit a tad on the expensive for a do-it-all apps driven clock replacement, coasting in at a price of US$150 when compared to alternatives of a similar ilk.
Here is the motley crue for comparison: the Counter Culture, the US$85 Numbers Clock, the US$30 Clamshell Alarm Clock, the US$45 Modern Gears Table Alarm Clock, the US$45 Clocky by Nanda Home, the US$38 Lexon On Off Alarm Clock and the Chumby Classic, the predecessor of the Sony Dash and on whose form factor, functionality and possibly its US$150 price tag is based. Tables are always nice, so take a gander at the comparison below:
|Name of Clock||Price of Clock|
|Clamshell Alarm Clock||US$30|
|Modern Gears Table Alarm Clock||US$45|
|Clocky by Nanda Home||US$45|
|Lexon On Off Alarm Clock||US$38|
Price comparison aside, its main reason for failing to catch on with a mass market thus far is its lack of a battery. Despite being able to stream content via Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n), its lack of a battery, a simple design flaw, is probably the reasons for its slow sales. Why it is on the comeback trail, despite the lack of a new version of the device with the battery issue resolved and support for external storage playback via its USB port may be due to the recent inclusion of Hulu Plus streaming on the device in November 2010.
This is the same commercial laden Hulu Plus that has now slashed its thirty (30) day subscription to US$7.99 to match other competing Web TV services such as Netflix coasting in at US$9.99. Maybe their next iteration will feature not only a battery but also some built in flexible Solar Panels licensed from Silicon Valley Solar innovator Solexant, as Apple has it in mind to use such flexible Solar Panels in future products refreshes, cutting the cord altogether. Alarm clock game changer may be my next article about this Chumby clone, if the design changes as suggested above are taken into effect.
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