A precursor to today's smart home hubs, the Dash was an incredibly versatile compact Wi-Fi device based on the Chumby OS. It was an alarm clock, digital photo frame, and internet radio player. It displayed video, weather, news, and had instant access to more than 1000 apps including YouTube and even Hulu.
It could be positioned in vertical or horizontal orientations for use at bedside or countertop. While the first generation did not include a rechargeable internal battery, at $199 it's retail price was less than half that of the cheapest of the new crop of tablets released later that year.
Role - Design, Prototyping, CMF
Year - 2010
Client - Sony Design Center
Utilizing the versatile and stable Chumby OS software, we designed the Dash to be the most advanced bedside/countertop/desktop assistant ever.
Encourage touch and interaction through form, i.e. make it friendly, though perhaps not as soft and friendly as the Chumby. Make the front easy to clean since it will spend time in kitchens.
As a versatile little internet device for bedside and countertop, the Dash was a hit. It had a much larger screen than the smartphones of 2010 and tablets were only just coming on the scene. But its very versatility created the expectation of portability, which had to wait until Gen 2.
That put it in an uncomfortable limbo between traditional alarm clocks and the new crop of full featured tablets including the iPad. That's okay, we got Justin Bieber to use one at CES. For free. Just a bit ahead of its time as shown by the popularity of modern home assistants like the Echo Show by Amazon.