Arduino Open-source Hardware

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Whilst watching Micheal Bauwens’s video on Peer production, I came across a seemingly confusing phrase; “open-source hardware”.

I have read articles on open-source software e.g. Linux but not hardware.

The initial impression I got as I pondered this phrase was that of a group of personal computers linked together and then…?

However, on further research, I found this enlightening Wall Street Journal article (see link below) which I believe will be good to share as it gives an insight into the significance of open-source hardware.

The link is as follows

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703499404574559960271468066.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

I believe that the proliferation of open-source hardware will help reduce the amount of hardware which is deliberately designed with obsolesce in mind; reducing the environmentally harming need to upgrade.

My rationale for this stance is based on the fact that open-source communities design products with the interest of the community (and consequently the environment) at heart. Case in point; the particular hardware referred to in this article (a general purpose microcontroller) is designed to be versatile and thus can be freely reused in a variety of ways even after it has outlived its original purpose. This is the beauty of commons-based peer production.

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One Response to “Arduino Open-source Hardware”

  1. rlinton Says:

    I’m not sure that it will reduce the amount of hardware designed to be obsolete, but it may well reduce the amount of the e-waste you talk about in your next post. Open source hardware could enable people to upgrade their technology independently, provided they have the resources to achieve this. Alternatively it could encourage them to self-recycle and use their obsolete technology to develop other hardware themselves. Maybe we need a new subject in secondary schools around practical technology to empower people with the skills needed to do this, and the expectation that they will put these skills into practice?

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