If you listen to Peter Semmelhack, he will tell you that Bug Labs’ name is derived either from system software “bugs” or the Hemiptera (aka “bugs”) order of insects. Based on the open source Web-enabled modular software & hardware nature of Bug Labs’ BUG, I feel that a viable alternative definition might be more synonymous with the term “bug” used in the vernacular of circuit designers to represent today’s integrated circuit (IC)–the basic building block for all digital consumer electronics. Regardless, BUG is one of the most anticipated DIY products of 2007.

Consisting of a brilliant platform of modular components that simply plug together, BUG can quickly become, within reason, any product of your dreams. Although not quite ready for prime time (YET), the BUG lineup for 2007 is scheduled to include:

  • BUGbase – the ARM-based Wi-Fi Linux computer “brain” which acts as the foundation for building all BUG mashups
  • GPS
  • Touch-sensitive color LCD screen
  • Digital camera/videocam
  • Accelerometer

Also, slated for release in the first quarter of 2008 are these BUGmodules:

  • A 2x, bigger touch-sensitive color LCD screen
  • Mini-QWERTY keyboard
  • Teleporter – “…beam me up, Mr. Scott.”
  • Audio speaker

Acting as the “lifeblood” to make a BUG creation work is a Java-based programming environment known as the BUG Module Interface or BMI. Under the hood, BMI relies on a service-oriented component runtime called OSGi.

Get ready to be BUGged. As soon as BUG comes to retail life, we will have a more in-depth look at this modular DIY product lineup. In fact, maybe a GPS-enabled digital camera Google Maps project would be a great demonstration of BUG. Stay tuned.—Dave Prochnow

(Image: Bug Labs)