open source hardware

Has open hardware finally made its big splash?

open hardware

Chris Clark is the IT director at SparkFun Electronics in Boulder, Colorado. He talked with Opensource.com community manager Jason Hibbets, late last year during the All Things Open conference about open hardware.

He answers a lot of awesome questions about open hardware, where it's going and where it's been. Plus, a big one for a lot of hardware makers out there right now: » Read more

1 Comment

A 3D printed hand brings the crowd to their feet

open hardware devices

Earlier this year, I shared my story about open source designs and my 3D printed prosthetic hand to a room of 4,600+ at Intel’s Annual International Sales Conference in Las Vegas. I joined Jon Schull on stage, the founder of e-NABLE, an online group dedicated to open source 3D printable assistive devices.

The reaction we got from our talk was unexpected—and it was one of the most awkward and exhilarating experiences of my life. » Read more

2 Comments

How to get involved with open source in 2014

Getting involved with open source in 2014

For open source projects to survive and thrive, it takes all sorts of different people contributing in various ways. We hope you are already participating in the open source community, but if you’re not, 2014 is going to be a great year to start!

Already an open source convert? Why not consider giving back in a new way this year?

Here are seven roles you might consider taking on in the new year. » Read more

5 Comments

The first supercapacitor-powered portable speakers are open source

open source music

Sam Beck is the guy behind Blueshift, an open source sustainable eletronics business that is all about building cool stuff. Helium speakers are the company's first product to market and will be the world's the first supercapacitor-powered portable speakers. Not to mention the design files are open source.

In this interview, Sam shares with me his unique business mindset and why he's not afraid anyone will steal his thunder, even while they might have access to his design.

If we build stuff that's cool enough, we'll find a way to make money.

Sam grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and went to college at Columbia University in New York City where he studied physics and art. He got his start with open source eletronics when he moved to Portland in 2008 and began building a bike stereo system that ran off of a dynamo hub (a bicycle part that generates electricity) and used capacitors as backup power. It was a few years later that Sam realized he could use supercapacitors as a primary power source.

Read more about the first supercapacitor-powered portable speakers in this interview.

» Read more

7 Comments

Open source hardware holds the same promise as software

makey makey from SparkFun Electronics
All Things Open eBook

Download the free All Things Open interview series eBook

I see SparkFun Electronics mentioned often in my social media stream, so I jumped at the chance to interview Chris Clark, the company's Director of Information Technology.

From their website: SparkFun is an online retail store that sells the bits and pieces to make your electronics projects possible. Our ever-growing product catalog boasts over 3,500 components and widgets designed to help you unleash your inner inventor... Through our Department of Education, SparkFun offers classes and online tutorials designed to help educate individuals in the wonderful world of embedded electronics... We believe an open market is a healthy market and we open source all of our product designs. SparkFun subscribes to the belief that open source tech encourages innovation and creativity, while helping empower individuals to build the projects they want.

In this interview with Chris » Read more

0 Comments

Open source hardware trademark application rejected

open source hardware trademark

On April 19th the United States Patent and Trademark Office finally rejected an application for the trademark open source hardware. The grounds for the rejection were that the term was "merely descriptive."

Trademarks are intended to identify a specific source of goods or services, protecting that source from confusion in the minds of consumers with other sources. Naturally then, if you try to obtain a trademark which is just a description of a type of product or service, it is proper that you should be refused; it would not be distinctive and it would distort the market by allowing one source to control the generic term. If I market a car for a hamster, I should not be able to get a trademark for the name hamster car, as that would improperly restrain competitors from bringing their own hamster cars to market. So, should we be pleased that the application was rejected?

» Read more

2 Comments

Join the first Open Source Hardware Documentation Jam

open wires

The Open Source Hardware Documentation Jam will be held on April 26-28 in New York.

We always thought the power of open source hardware lies in the ability to build upon others’ work and, when it comes to hardware, good documentation is the key to making this happen. » Read more

0 Comments

MakerPlane: Open source takes flight in aviation

change the model

I spoke with John Nicol at MakerPlane about their passionate team of contributors from all over the world who are designing and building a full-sized two seat Light Sport Aircraft. Their mission is to "create innovative and game-changing aircraft, avionics and related systems and the transformational manufacturing processes to build them."  » Read more

0 Comments

Open source design in music and ecology

open innovation

The participatory ethic of open source software has become so widespread these days that it is migrating into some unexpected places... like musical instruments, tractors and ecological technology.

Chances are you haven’t heard about the Zoybar—a modular instrument loosely based on the guitar. As its inventor describes it, "Every user can create his own unique instrument by its own voice and needs. We call this Decentralized Innovation. For the first time these instruments can be duplicated and evolve regardless of location and market interests." » Read more

0 Comments

Closer to a real open source digital cinema than we think

On the second semester of 2010, I had one of those great ideas for a short movie. I sat down and wrote the story, thinking about the narrative, the characters, the setting and pretty much everything that would relate to production. Finishing that, I just thought to myself: “now wouldn't it be nice if I could do it open source? I mean, all of it?” Being a free culture activist myself, it became important to find an answer to this question.

» Read more

0 Comments