After delaying their launch for a few weeks, NY startup Bug Labs has opened its Web store and is taking orders for the “Bug,” a build-your-own mobile gadget platform. A potential setback: When the first Bugs ship in March, they won’t include built-in wi-fi. Until the company irons out some software issues, you’ll have to buy an accessory to add wireless Internet access to the device.
The Bug, which we followed last year from concept to prototype, is basically a Lego kit for mobile coders: Mix-and-match up to four modules like LCD screens, GPS, a digital camera, etc., and write whatever software you want. A base unit costs $299; an all-in starter kit with motion sensor, GPS, LCD touchscreen, and 2-megapixel digital camera costs $549.
The company is initially targeting hobbyists and prototypers — both tiny markets. But Bug Labs also hopes some industries might figure out how to use the Bug as a basis for commercial devices — and help provide backers Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital a return on their investment.
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