Flatiron-based Bug Labs showed off some components of its mix-and-match mobile device last night — and it looks pretty cool. Bug is building what it calls “open-source” hardware, a gadget for which anyone can mix and match features, design new hardware components, write software applications, and re-sell.
Founder Peter Semmelhack showed us a prototype logic board with two removable add-ons: a motion sensor and a digital camera (pictured; click for bigger image). Bug has about 100 components in mind, ranging from communications systems like wi-fi to keyboards and LCD screens, and will roll them out gradually when it starts commercial sales this fall. The company hasn’t ironed out pricing yet, but Semmelhack says a starter kit should cost somewhere in the hundreds of dollars.
Semmelhack says Bug will initially target gadget hobbyists/engineers, a market he pegs around 40,000 people. But Bug’s long-term commercial success will likely depend more on how useful their lego-like mobile gadget is to companies looking to build hundreds or thousands of devices based on its platform.
Update: Bug’s Jeremy Toeman has posted some photos from last night’s event on Flickr.