The Unlimited Potential of Open Source Hardware

Open source hardware (OSH) refers to physical objects with specially licensed design specifications that allow just about anyone to study, modify, copy, redistribute, and even sell the hardware. The hardware can generally encompass any range of objects, including phones, cars, robots, computers, musical instruments, and houses. These are all comprised of design files that could have been patented but are instead openly available for those who want to build upon and improve them, as explained on mouser.com.

According to Katherine Scott, a board member at the Open Source Hardware Association, the future of OSH is quite promising, as it is a tried and true model that has had resounding success so far. It has the ability to rapidly improve contributions to science, art, and technology around the globe. Even OSH on a small scale can be transformed to influence larger systems that will, in effect, impact more people.

The potential of successful open source hardware and software is exemplified by the Android operating system. The system’s open licensing allows for mobile hardware manufacturers like LG and Samsung to commercially distribute their versions of Android software, keeping customers familiar with the operating system while making unique changes to each phone model. The lack of royalties to the original designer also provides customers with the ability to continue buying reasonably priced phones, which makes it a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Today, OSH is making its way into commercial use and garnering incredible support from companies and individuals far and wide. Communities working on hardware ranging from microcontroller development platforms to satellites to 3D printers, among other things, are adding to the open source revolution currently sweeping the world of design. Open source hardware will only further the growth of knowledge and encourage product development across platforms in the years to come.

Open source hardware (OSH) refers to physical objects with specially licensed design specifications that allow just about anyone to study, modify, copy, redistribute, and even sell the hardware. The hardware can generally encompass any range of objects, including phones, cars, robots, computers, musical instruments, and houses. These are all comprised of design files that could have been patented, but are instead openly available for those who want to build upon and improve them, as explained on mouser.com.

 

Do you have the right tools for your hardware project? If you any questions about our host adapters, protocol analyzers or other Total Phase products, feel free to email us at sales@totalphase.com.

 

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