I have been following the Bug blog for a long time waiting for the commercial availability of their products and they are finally on sale! That’s great news.
Bug Labs is a collection of modules that you can plug together to build any electronic gadget you can imagine. The great thing about this product is that you do not need any kind of soldering and, even better, without any knowledge of solidÂ state electronics. You can simply plug in modules in a master module and you are set with your new gadget.
The foundation of this is called BUGbase a fully programmable linux based computer. If you look at the specs of BUGbse you will be impressed. In such a tiny form factor you will find:
- ARM1136JF-S-based microprocessor
- 1 USB 2.0 HS host interface/4 hub port connections
- 1 USB OTG HS interface
- 4 UART serial links
- 4 channel SPI interface
- I2C (400 kbits) interface/4 channels
- I2S interface/2 channels
- Smart LCD interface
- Camera sensor interface
- Micro memory card interface
- MPEG4 hardware encoding/decoding
- Hardware graphic acceleration
- 10/100 Ethernet MAC
- Base unit LCD module interface
- Base unit onboard memory (FLASH/DDR SDRAM)
- JTAG/ICE support
- Serial debug port
- Power system
- AC operation
- Battery operation/up to 4 external batteries
- Fast battery charging/simultaneous of internal and external batteries
- Smart power management support
- Battery-backed real-time clock
- Audio out via onboard piezo speaker
This is really a very complete set of feature leaving space for the creation of a great range of electronics gadgets.
But this is only the base. You can plug to BUGbase a number of other modules:
- A digital camera/videocamera module.
- A GPS module.
- A Touch sensitive LCD Display.
- An accelerometer and motion sensor.
The company will also offer an SDK though which you will give fuel to your machine.
I really love this kind of approach. You can plug and unplug the different modules to build different devices. A WiFi connected MP3 player, a GPS logger, a PDA with motion sensors, a digital camera all at your fingertips.
I definitely think I will buy one of these.
I have liked the company approach to this kind of product. They already have community tools to discuss about their product. They have been running a blog from a long time listening to their commenters. They have an application directory and a forum sections. I think this is definitely the best approach to launch such products on the market. They will have to strongly rely on the contributions from their customers.
I hope they will be able to obtain a great market success with their product.
Unfortunately they still do not have a GSM/GPRS/UMTS module that would make the product much more interesting, at least for me and I hope they will think about it.
If you want more informations you can have a deep look at their company web site.