Chumby, the adorable little Internet appliance from a few years ago, is back from its near-death experience.
The 2012 closure of its original maker — Chumby Industries — left the devices unable to run the Internet services such as Pandora and Flickr that were its reason for being. However, a new company, Blue Octy, purchased the Chumby assets and has been working to bring the service back to life.
Late on Tuesday, Chumby announced the return of the service with a post on its user forums.
The catch is that what was once free will now cost Chumby owners $3 per month.
“Unlike Chumby Industries, I don’t have a bunch of venture capital investment to pay for the recurring costs of keeping these systems and the associated company in operation,” said new owner Duane Maxwell. “Either this company operates in the black, or it goes away — I can’t personally absorb the costs forever. I know this is a pretty radical idea in this weird tech industry, but there you go.”
Remaining inventory of the Chumby One is for sale from an online store, with proceeds going to support the service.
Those who don’t want to pay can still get the limited services that have been running for the past year — clock, music and alarms.