Interesting article on Computerworld talks about the emergence of open-source hardware and the ways it seems to be moving towards more mainstream acceptance.
Open-source hardware developments offer great hope and advantages for the adaptive technology field where there is not a huge mass market need and such specialisation and individualised needs exist.
Here’s a snippet synopsis.
Could the same philosophy — the free and public dissemination of underlying code and specs, with multiple developers from disparate sources contributing to the design — work for tech gadgets as well? Will we one day commonly use smartphones, netbooks or other gadgets that have been developed under an open-source model, maybe even preferring them over proprietary products like the iPhone?
.. the idea of organizing an open-source project online to build a device isn’t far-fetched, nor is it one that requires millions in start-up funding.
“Open source is about commoditization,” [Mark Driver, a Gartner analyst who specializes in open source] says. “These products are taking a market where there really isn’t a lot of concrete differentiation … between what’s out there and providing an alternative, which is exactly what open source does right. Linux got wildly popular not because it did something new; it’s because it did what Unix did, but did it in a much more open fashion.”
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