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Is Open Source Hardware IT’s Next Big Thing?

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?

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.

Great comments from Nathan Seidle and Chris Clark of Sparkfun.comCheck out the full article here.


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