Bug Labs and The Long Tail of Gadgets

\n

\nEarlier in the week, I had the unique opportunity to hear Peter Semmelhack, CEO of New York-based Bug Labs, describe how his start-up company was radically disrupting the traditional consumer electronics industry. Using a modular, open source approach, Bug Labs is focused on bringing the Long Tail of Gadgets to everyday consumers. Instead of developing a few devices for millions of consumers, the business model is to make millions of devices available for relatively few numbers of consumers. His company has already generated buzz on gadget blogs like Gizmodo, and now Bug Labs is featured in this week's issue of Springwise:\n\n


\n\n

"For a while now, web developers have been mixing and matching web\nservices such as Google Earth and Yahoo Weather to create mash-ups that\nperform useful new functions. Likewise, programmers have grown adept at\ntweaking the code used by open-source software programs. The result in\nboth instances has been unique applications the developers of the\noriginal technology likely never dreamed of. \n\n

\n\n

US start-up Bug Labs wants to\nharness some of that same creativity by enabling tech-savvy\ndo-it-yourselfers to create their own mobile devices. The company has\ndesigned several basic hardware modules that snap together like\nbuilding blocks to perform whatever mobile function their owners can\nthink of. “There are so many great gadget ideas that haven't been\nthought of yet,” the founders note. “We want to unlock and inspire the\ndiscovery and creation of as many of these devices as possible.”\nBesides letting them add whatever they want, the snap-together\ncomponents also let consumers leave out what they don't want, which is\na far cry from many pre-packaged mobile phones and PDAs that come\ncrammed with features their buyers have no use for."

\n\n\n\n\n\n

By the end of 2007, at least a few of the modules should be available for sale. According to Semmelhack, the plan is to make the modules available online first, before extending availability to big box retailers like Best Buy sometime in 2008. If you check out the Bug Labs website, you're probably thinking, "Wow, those products doesn't look at all like a phone or camera that I own." That's the whole point. As Springwise points out, "Gadgets built with Bug Lab's block-like components may not satisfy\nthose who lust after branded mobile devices poured into seamlessly\nsleek designs. It will, however, appeal to people who enjoy making\nthings, and like having control over elements of a product'€™s design."

\n\n

This is a company to watch. Mad props to Peter and team at Bug Labs!

\n\n\n\n

[image: Peter Semmelhack and The Long Tail of Gadgets]

\n

Ideology drives us apart. Neuroscience can bring us back together.

A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.

Sponsored
  • How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
  • To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less