A couple months ago, my friends at Sony sent me a new device called the Sony Dash. I brought it home and gave it to the Gotham Gal. She is using it as a bedside clock radio and not taking advantage of very many of its features. But my son expressed an interest in having one on his bedside table and so I got another.
He set it up to do four things; tell him what time it is, tell him what the weather is, give him his ESPN fix, and give him his Facebook fix. The clock rotates through sports news from ESPN, and photos and status updates from his friends on Facebook.
Here's the clock showing sports news from ESPN:
And here is the clock showing status updates from Facebook (sorry about the blurry photo):
In light of all the buzz about Flipboard, which I still can't connect to Facebook and Twitter, I think we are seeing an important new development. Social media clients are moving beyond the desktop, laptop, and smartphone onto new kinds of devices like the iPad and the Dash.
I was skeptical about the Dash when I first used it. It is a bit clunky to set up. The UI could use some serious simplification. But once you set it up, it's largely a "set it and forget it" kind of thing. And every time I walk into my son's room, I learn something about sports and his friends. It is actually an excellent user experience for a bedside clock, at least it is for my son.
You can connect the Dash to much more than ESPN and Facebook. It does Twitter, of course, and YouTube, and a ton of other web services too. It's a bit pricey for a bedside clock, but I expect the cost will come down pretty quickly for devices like this and we should be looking at sub $100 price points in the next year. If you are into gadgets and the web, this could be for you.