David Findlay

BugLabs update

I realize I haven't posted about BugLabs for a while; actually, looking at the top of the window I'm typing in I can see it's been close to 6 weeks. Well, the truth is there doesn't seem to be much going on at all, in the beta program at least. The last posting from anybody in the forum was December 6th, and I've been super busy at work so I haven't played with it much either. Plus the questions I've posted as to the direction they plan to go as far as user input, and display mediation between modules haven't been answered, so I haven't really figured out what else I could usefully do to test the SDK at this point. I have seen some bugzilla emails come in, so I know the guys are still working on stuff. I'm sure they're trying to get the last few kinks out before they release, which they are/were slating for mid-December.

We did get an update from Jeremy (the marketing guy) update the beta program back on November 20th:

Hi there - we know that it's gotten a little quiet around here and we want to apologize. We also want to give you an update (overdue!) so you don't think something is amiss.

First - BIG thanks to everyone whose been involved in our beta program. We've learned a ton from you and are applying it to our software and hardware. We would not be where we are right now without you. Please keep pounding. There's more fun stuff on the way.

Second, when we initiated this beta program we got a great response from everyone - applicants, selected testers, etc. Many people jumped in and started exploring, coding and building things. Others hung back and waited to see what unfolded. And the truth is, not very many did. It became clear to us pretty quickly that we were asking a lot of you. Without hardware to play with and more module types to mash up, folks ran out of energy. We intended to get more resources into the mix but we weren't able to because everyone's working hard on getting product out the door. Since then we've been hiring and I'm happy to say we will be making hardware available soon too!

We are a few defects away from moving out of closed beta and into an open beta of the BUG SDK and BUGnet. And as I mentioned above, our hardware is fully up and operational (although we can't say there's no defects just yet!). Needless to say, we're pretty excited about getting to this point!

In December, we'll be bringing the first batch of BUGbases and BUGmodules to market. These initial BUGbase units will be limited production v0.9 hardware. We're giving them that designation for a couple reasons. We decided to change the design of the front panel a little bit and will not be able to get that change into these first units before the end of the year. Same thing for the wifi chip set. We will not be able to incorporate our new wifi design into BUGbase before year end. So rather than delay shipment, we've decided to go into limited production. These units are functionally identical to what our final production units will be (with the only exception being wifi). All our BUGmodules will be v1.0 production and will be fully compatible with both our limited production and full production BUGbases.

Between now and the open beta, you are welcome to continue to use BUGnet, the SDK, and participate in the forums. There will be at least one update to the SDK in the meantime. As we have reached this great milestone, we invited some of our blogger friends to come take a look at working hardware, here's a few videos (Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Silicon Alley Insider) that show it off. If any of you'd like to come by the office, please let us know, we'd love to meet you in person. For those of you in the SF Bay Area, we're having a meetup on November 29th and we hope you can stop by!

Thanks again,

I asked a couple of follow-up questions (sorry for the image c&p):

forum post

I'll post back when he lets us know what the plan is. They demoed some units running Qtopia to the press, but not anything running within the BUG framework. It's going to be interesting to see how the BUG SDK fits into the rest of the device's infrastructure.