Jonathan Feldman talks about the future of Open Source Hardware in a commentary for Information Week.
Those of us with gray hair remember when mainstream companies viewed open source software with extreme skepticism–that is, until it became apparent that the Internet backbone was running reliably on OSS. Now attention is turning to open source hardware.
Open source hardware? Really?
If you’ve been following the Maker Movement, you’re already in the loop. Just as many open source iterations and eyes changed the face of software, so it will go with hardware. Want to build a USB battery charger out of a mint container and other widely available components? Limor Fried (aka Lady Ada) to the rescue, with her “minty boost” USB charger.
Surely this movement is for hobbyists only, right? You don’t want to fork out $50 for a USB battery charger, so you fork out $20 for the kit and work on it with your buddies over the weekend.
Well, there’s a larger world out there. Like open source software, open source hardware started among hobbyists and will make its way into the corporation.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.