Verizon's holding its developer conference (VDC, for those in the know) this week where it courts software and hardware developers alike to make stuff that works on its airwaves, and one of the bigger pieces of news to come out of it so far has been from Bug Labs. Now, Bug's not exactly a company we'd expect to be working with Big Red, as CEO Peter Semmelhack notes in his blog post on the matter: "it may come as a surprise to you that a company that is so often vilified for being closed is teaming up with Bug Labs, a company that is defined by its openness." What changed? Basically, Bug modules are going to serve as pre-certified building blocks for developers, saving little guys with limited budgets the time and expense of going through Verizon's certification process -- you just integrate Bug's hardware and you automatically inherit its approval. No word yet on when the new modules will be ready or how much they'll cost, though (we're still waiting on the new BUGBase to launch). Follow the break for the full press release.

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Bug Labs to Provide New Wireless Product Innovation Platform for Connected Devices

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and NEW YORK, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon Wireless and Bug Labs announced today a strategic relationship that will enable product designers, software engineers and others to build, program and deploy innovative new wireless devices to be used on the Verizon Wireless network. Devices that use Verizon Wireless approved Bug Labs' modules and that connect to the Verizon Wireless network via pre-approved Verizon Wireless Broadband Access cards or removable modems do not need to be submitted for any testing by Verizon Wireless before they may be activated on the Verizon Wireless network.

The BUG platform is a collection of discrete hardware modules, Verizon Wireless network-ready 3G modems, and associated software that can be easily combined and re-combined to create new, custom wireless devices. This device can then be used as the basis for more integrated and cost-efficient, high-volume production versions to help reduce the time and costs of getting to market. The BUG platform is constantly evolving to include new hardware modules to increase the flexibility of the platform.

"Verizon Wireless has a demonstrated commitment to innovation, and we're excited to combine our open product development platform with the nation's best wireless broadband network," said Peter Semmelhack, founder and chief executive officer of Bug Labs. "With the BUG platform, developers can explore whole new categories of wireless devices and bring them to market quickly and cost effectively by accelerating development, deployment, production and certification."

"The BUG platform is a natural addition to our open development program, and it's an innovative option for developers. Verizon Wireless continues to open its network to support a vibrant ecosystem of both software and hardware developers, and we're delighted to be working with Bug Labs to help us achieve that mission," said Aparna Khurjekar, executive director of business solutions for Verizon Wireless.

To view video from the 2010 VDC Conference, visit http://verizonwireless.mediaseed.tv/Story.aspx?story=37565.

Engadget HD Podcast 215 - 09.22.2010