The ‘do it yourself’ phone from Buglabs!

by subacati

Buglabs have done it! They've made the 'lego' phone that Mik was wanting! :yes:. …

(click on the images to enlarge)
The Bug is a modular development system that uses a linux computer as a base unit. In addition to the base unit, you have several modules that you may choose from to add to the device such as a touch screen, a gps unit, an audio module and so on. Some modules are not yet available, but are planned for the near future. The camera module has been temporarily removed from the catalogue recently. Apparently, due to a flaw with the current design, they will be re-designing the camera from scratch.

The Bug is not a small device. In fact, it looks rather chunky for a handheld device of this century. :left:. The clip together design, together with it's chunky appearance and square, blocky appearance makes it look very eighties. Perhaps that's why it appeals to me. :p. That, and the commodore-ish way in that you initially get a nice piece of hardware, but you have to fiddle with it yourself to make it do something. :lol:. I like the idea of a small, open-source computer that you are encouraged to mess around with.

The basic kit ships for US$575 and includes the base unit, the screen module, a gps receiver module, an accelerometer module and the breakout board module (replaces the camera module). But don't quote me on that as the contents of the package has changed before and will probably change again. :lol:. Your can also buy each module seperately to add as you wish.

You can add more than one of the same module to the base unit as each slot has it's own, independent address. Now I can't help but think that, once the camera module is sorted out, that by adding two camera modules to the same side, you create a simple 3D camera. :D. (technically, stereoscopic) Used together with advanced algorithms that are now common, you can create virtuall Reality scenes from such a camera. Now, add the Bugbee wireless module, and a VR helmet with a usb connection, (did I forget to mention the usb port? :whistle:) and interactive net gaming just became very interesting. :yes:. (bye, bye Wii, we won't miss you! :p)

So to round up, I think the Bug has a lot of potential, but it has to be marketed to the correct people. The highly successfull Commodore 64 was mostly a success because of the way it was sold, not to elitist computer-jerk geeks, but to the average american teenager. That said, I don't think the average american teenager even knows about the Bug, nor do I think that teenagers, in the current economy, can afford it. :(.
This product is intended as a development tool or for educational purposes, but I think they're using the wrong marketing model. One good thing though, if you are a student, and you can prove it, you qualify for a discount. :D.

Click here to download the sdk. You can start writing applications for the Bug using the Bug emulator.

The following links take you to various pages on Buglabs site. If your on a desktop, or using the Skyfire browser, you can watch some videos there as well. :up:. (use use VuClip and search for Buglabs)