Bug Labs: You Have to See it To Understand


Or that’s what we come away with, having read Dave Winer’s first take on the company’s forthcoming product (gleaned from a dinner last night in San Francisco). 

Bug was founded last year and is funded by Union Square Ventures.  The company is developing “an open, modular, consumer electronics web services + hardware platform. Designed for the general audience, not just the technically inclined, BUG is intended to bring to the world of hardware gadgets what the Internet, open source, XML and web services have brought to the world of software and media.”   

Apparently, the product is so complex that, at the dinner last night, CEO Peter Semmelhack had to demonstrate it using wooden blocks.  Dave Winer, a self-confessed “software guy” was also left a bit in the dark, but he gave it the college try:

1. It’s an architecture for pluggable gadget components.

2. The designs for the components are all open source. They’re sharing everything. So they won’t have any kind of lock in on the devices that are built with it.

3. There have a very sexy development platform.

4. And there’s the hardware itself. Again, we didn’t see it, they showed us wood mockups, giving an idea of how the pieces fit together. They’re going to ship with four initial components, a screen, GPS, a CPU, and ??? Every unit comes with wifi and USB. 

In any case, Winer was impressed with Semmelhack, who he feels understands the challenges he’s facing (starting with explaining what the product does).

UPDATED: USV partner Fred Wilson attempts to clarify: “It’s not anything like the iPhone.  It’s more link Ning.”

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