Bug Pricing and Availability Announced

Bug
When we seed funded Peter Semmelhack, Bug was just an idea and Peter pitched it to us with a bunch of wood blocks. I am not joking. But we liked the idea of a truly open consumer electronics platform that would open up the long tail of gadgets and so we took the plunge. Almost two years later, Bug is finally coming to the market.

Today, the Company is announcing pricing and availability to coincide with a launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Gizmodo and Engadget have posts on the news with some good comments as well.

Here are the important details:

Pricing

BUG Early Adopter Program – a discount on products for the first 60 days of sales

BUGbase $349 ($299 w/discount)
LCD module $119 ($99 w/discount)
GPS module $99 ($79 w/discount)
Camera module $79 ($69 w/discount)
Motion detector / Accelerometer $59 ($49 w/discount)

In addition, there will be a further discount for anyone who purchases a BUGbase and all four modules, which will be announced on January 21st.

Availability

The Bug Labs online store will be open for business starting Monday, January 21st.  At this point they will begin taking pre-orders for the BUGbase and all four BUGmodules.  They will begin fulfilling orders on or before March 17th, and will ship based on the dates the orders were originally received.  Their initial rollout will only include domestic orders, but they aim to fulfill internationally later in the year.

Bug also announced two other things that shows where they are going and who they are targeting with the initial launch.

1) There will be a heavily discounted pricing program called BUG+EDU.  BUG+EDU is actually a series of programs and promotions aimed at introducing BUG to the education market.  Different programs will be established for primary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions, as well as for individual students.  BUG is a great platform for aspiring engineering students as well as kids who just like to tinker.  BUG+EDU will hopefully get more units into the hands of those who will really use their imagination to drive the next generation of cool gadgets.

2) Bug also announced the Von Hippel module, a new addition to the collection of BUGmodules.  Named after MIT professor and "Democratizing Innovation" author Eric Von Hippel, the Von Hippel BUGmodule adds an interface of inputs and outputs to the BUG, allowing users to "hack" their BUG even further.  Think of this as an empty Altos mints metal case with the requisite BUGbase inputs. Final pricing and timing for the Von Hippel BUGmodule is not yet set, but the company is targeting the first quarter.

Bug is all about enabling hackers to build new innovative consumer electronic devices without having to be a hardcore electrical engineer. Getting Bug devices into the hands of students, particularly a module like the Von Hippel module which basically asks the question – what would you do with this? – is going to create some really interesting stuff and I am excited to see the innovation start flowing into the Bug ecosystem.