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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Build Custom Hardware Gadgets With BUG

Bug Labs seems to have a very promising concept. The company allows you to order different hardware modules, like a camera, a screen, a touch sensitive device (some still in development) and so on. Then, you can stick these modules onto the base gadget, and via a Java-based programming environment, add your own functionality to the device.

For instance, the site’s directory has an app called GoogleTiles gadget which uses the geographical location its in to then grab a Google Maps tile for display on the LCD module. Another application called FlickrUppr claims to detect motion, then take a snapshot, geotag the snapshot, and upload it to the user’s Flickr account. The PictureFrame gadget turns the bug into a picture frame; the description reads, “Shake it once, then hold it still to take a picture. Shake it again to erase the picture.” The NightRider app on the other hand simply blinks the gadget’s LEDs in Knight Rider pattern...

All this somewhat reminds me of Lego Mindstorm, but for gadgets instead of robots. The gadgets as well as the website look very sleek, though I was slightly hoping they’d also offer something more casual like Python as programming framework. Then again, you can use Jython – Python implemented in Java – to tackle that, as one bug application demonstrates.

[Via Joel Webber at Friendfeed.]


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