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Hardware Linux

Open Source Hardware Hits 1.0 59

Posted by timothy
from the ok-now-where's-the-pilot-light? dept.
ptorrone writes "The Open Source Hardware Statement of Principles and Open Source Hardware Definition have hit 1.0. Open Source Hardware is a term for tangible artifacts — machines, devices, or other physical things — whose design has been released to the public in such a way that anyone can make, modify, distribute, and use those things. This definition is intended to help provide guidelines for the development and evaluation of licenses for Open Source Hardware. The top open hardware electronics pioneers and companies have endorsed the 1.0 definition, and next up will be logo selection."
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Open Source Hardware Hits 1.0

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  • by BillX (307153) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @10:29PM (#35169924) Homepage

    It's still early if the definition of open source hardware is only official as of today, but a number of open-source-friendly hardware companies exist today - Sparkfun, Adafruit and the Arduino universe are probably the most well-known examples. It's definitely too early to say whether the Big Boys will get in on it, but it'll be exciting to find out in anycase.

    An aside - who says it needs to be backed by business? I think the real story behind an "open source hardware definition" is that someone(s) are serious enough about it to lay the groundwork while the idea is still in its infancy, and expect it to begin really taking off. The difference between hardware and the FOSS we already know and love, as others have pointed out, is that hardware has real material costs while tinkering in software is free... but that is changing rapidly, too. Nowadays you can pick up Arduino-style devkits for $30 or spin your own PCBs for well under $100 USD, and open-source personal fabrication tools are at the cusp of exploding. That is, 3D printers for under $1k, laser cutters and CNC mills for a few hundred, pick and place robots for comparable (coming soon!). The wall to entry vs. pure software FOSS is still there, but getting shorter all the time.

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