Bug Labs is on to something.
We certainly thought so when we gave the Bug Labs platform a Best of CES award in the Emerging Technologies category. It turns out the "Lego of gadgets" had broad enough appeal to sell out of its first manufacturing run. Visitors to the Bug Labs online store are now greeted with a promise that the company will begin to fulfill orders "by the end of May." Fortunately, the lauded early adopter pricing remains in effect.
In an interview with Silicon Alley Insider, Bug Labs founder Peter Semmelhack noted that many of the device's first purchasers were hobbyists and tinkerers. But to his surprise about a third of the buyers were corporations looking for less-expensive alternatives to custom devices.
The Bug Labs platform starts with a minicomputer, the Bug Base, onto which you can snap multiple modules (the current line-up includes GPS, motion detector, camera, and an LCD screen). Thanks to the device's open-source software, skilled Java programmers can use the Bug to build their own dream gadget. Eventually the company hopes to offer a library of free programs so that even less technically inclined people can use the platform.