Bug Labs and hardware mashups

Taking a laptop or any kind of digital device out on site can be a bit dodgy sometimes. Whether it’s dust, rain, or beer, the opportunities for disaster are limitless. I was intrigued then to find a short article in the most recent edition of the MIT Technology Review about a new product from Bug Labs. It sounded familiar, so I must have come across it before, but I don’t think I’ve blogged about it. Anyway, the idea is a modular computing device whose innards and software can be reconfigured as desired by the end user. No soldering, no high-end circuit design. And it looks rather rugged. I could imaging having a couple of these things handy, to use for data-entry, data-logging on a gpr or other device, geo-tagging photos, etc.

From their website:

“Bug Labs is a new kind of technology company, enabling a new generation of engineers to tap their creativity and build any type of device they want, without having to solder, learn solid state electronics, or go to China. Bug Labs envisions a future where CE stands for Community Electronics, the term “mashups” applies equally to hardware as it does to Web services, and entrepreneurs can appeal to numerous markets by inventing “The Long Tail” of devices.”

The prices are pretty reasonable too – the device pictured is about $300.

“It’s a fully programmable and “hackable” Linux computer, equipped with a fast CPU, 128MB RAM, rechargeable battery, USB, Ethernet, and a small LCD with button controls. It also has a tripod mount because, well, why not? Each BUGbase houses four connectors for users to combine any assortment of BUGmodules to create their ultimate gadget.”

Bug Labs’ blog lives here.

I know some of the people at Open Archaeology are looking at the XO (see also ‘One Laptop per Archaeologist‘), but they might want take a look at this one.

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One thought on “Bug Labs and hardware mashups

  1. Hi Shawn, thanks for the pingbacks!

    The Bug Labs product range looks very interesting and I’m sure there’s something that could be done with it. I’m not sure if it’s quite right for our on site digital recording needs however; we’re currently concentrating our efforts upon the platform. We think that the soon to be released FreeRunner model could become the tool for modern archaeological practice. If you’re interested we’ll be more than happy to keep you up to date with our developments.

    Cheers, Joseph

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