The Abstract Truth

Bug Labs: Details, Details, Details!

Posted by rbpasker on August 30, 2007

A week or so ago, I wrote about Bug Labs new personal hardware development platform. Today they put up details about the platform, descriptions of the first few modules, and screenshots of the Eclipse IDE support.

Lets look at the BUGBase:

  • ARM processor
  • 128MB RAM
  • LCD
  • Button controls
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • 4x serial ports (hopefully 230K)
  • Hardware MPEg-4 codec
  • Hardware graphics (no spec)
  • 10/100BaseT
  • 802.11b/g
  • Speaker
  • Battery

Its unclear how much non-volatile memory the device will have, but it will need at least a gig or two, preferably on high-speed removable media. I’m also hoping the device will have power-management capabilities coupled with sub-microsecond hardware timers.

The base will be available around the same time as the first four modules:

  • GPS
  • Digital Camera / Videocam
  • Touch-sensitive, Color LCD Screen
  • Accelerometer, Motion Sensor

The accelerometer is pretty cool, but I probably wouldn’t use up a slot for it, because in Q1 08 I’ll add one these modules:

  • Touch-sensitive, Color LCD – 2X
  • Mini-QWERTY Keyboard
  • Teleporter
  • Audio Speaker, Input/Output Mini Jacks

The teleporter has me confused. Being as small as it is, this teleporter will probably use old 60s-era Star Trek technology, rather than something newer, like the an X-Men-based mutation field. But still, the benefits of being able to get around instantaneously will outweight the fashion drawbacks of the 60s.

If you’re listening, Bug Labs, here’s my laundry list of modules for Q2 08 and beyond:

  • phone, including SMS/MMS, and 3G networking
  • a software radio for AM/FM/XM/Serius reception
  • TOSLink 5.1 audio for surround-sound A/V
  • IR transmitter/receiver for making a universal remote

I think my full-fledged all-in-1 PDA/iPod/Camera replacement will need 6 modules: GPS, cam, LCD, kbd, audio, and phone. Since the device only holds 4 at a time, I’m hoping the modules will be hot-swappable.

My first project will be a fully integrated, internet-aware, extensible PDA. I’ve already started thinking about the internal architecture for such a thing that would allow people to develop their own web-services aware PDA plug-ins.

Well, I’ve applied for the Bug Labs beta program. Let’s hope they have room for me!

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