We are so inundated with information on our desktops, that useful information is many times buried or lost, especially as our apps vie for prime real estate above the fold. You can ease your screen Real Estate issue with a little Gadget called a Chumby. Some have described Chumby as an "Internet-enabled Alarm Clock"...true, it is but I think its so much more. Its a playful portable iPortal - where the "i" means Internet, Individualized, & Information.
Chumbys are based on Linux, have great Wi-Fi connectivity and a super touch screen
interface. Once connected, you can then select Widgets from www.chumby.com to run on your Chumby. From a consumer perspective, the obvious widgets allow you to play music, search the web, set alarms, get your weather and your news and check on your stock performance. If you get your hands on one of these babies - check out the "Squeeze Sensor"... it totally changes the dynamic of using an information device when you can squeeze it to interact with it!
According to Steve Adler, VP of Business Development (disclaimer: Steve and I worked together in a prior life) there are about 50 widgets currently available with more to come. Update: Steve shot me a quick note yesterday to tell me they now have over 250 Widgets! Especially seeing as the whole thing is built on an open source stack, it should be relatively easy for folks and firms to build Chumby widgets...
I also also see a significant enterprise play for this device. Steve and talked about this months ago. If you think about it, with the information overload we face every day and competition for screen real estate, a smaller "dedicated device" that say could report on manufacturing line events, or supply chain red flags or customer escalations ONLY, for instance, would make a valuable contribution to any enterprise reliant on real-time information (and which one's aren't these days) . Steve tells me that Chumby is in talks with Salesforce.com. I'd love to see SAP engage with Chumby as well.