Inspired by the success of the open-source software movement, a group of technology enthusiasts is looking to unite the fragmented open-source hardware community in an effort to promote hardware innovation.
A group of technologists are establishing the Open Source Hardware Association, formed to promote the creation and sharing of hardware or electronic designs. The association hopes to foster growth in the open-source hardware movement, which carries the open-source ethos of a community working together to tweak and update hardware designs with the goal to improve products.
The concept of open-source hardware loosely relates to releasing designs of physical hardware — processors, machines or devices — to the public for reuse. But there are licensing and legal issues with the concept, as there is with open-source software, and the association hopes to explore those issues while also educating people about the benefits of open hardware, said Alicia Gibb, founder of OSHA.