The concept of open source is well established in thesoftware world but there are signs that there efforts being made to transferthat approach to the hardware sector.
The idea of open source hardware works by developing andsharing details of circuit boards right up to the idea of giving away devicesto users for nothing.
The current champion of 'free' is author Chris Anderson whohas just published a book on the way that economic models are changing pointingout that hardware is the next natural extension of the open source movement.
“You’re likely familiar with the concept of open sourcesoftware, but the new idea of extending that to hardware— from circuit boardsall the way up to consumer electronic gadgets like Google’s Android phone— isjust now emerging,” he writes in Free, the future of a radical price.
“The way most open source hardware companies work isthis: All the plans, printed circuit board files, software, and instructionsare free and available to all. If you want to build your own (or, even better,improve on a design), you’re encouraged to do so. But if you don’t want the hassleor risk of doing it yourself, you can buy a premade version that’s guaranteedto work,” he adds.
Some of the companies that have started in this space aremaking their money through license and certification fees that they charge theresellers that make and sell the boards.