The World Maker Faire New York was as much a way for tinkerers to show off their latest creations as it was a place for inventors to work on their projects with others. There was a common mind around the outdoor booths at the annual fair, held at the New York Hall of Science in Queens on Sept. 29 and 30, that innovation is a community effort.
Drones were a common sight at the event, and you could find the automated robots flying on gyrocopters, laying on six-wheel beds ideal for off-roading, and being shown off as working concepts for tomorrow’s cars.
Once again, the Senate is considering a bill that would allow fashion designers to sue people for knocking off their designs. The “Innovative Design Protection Act,” S.3523, is being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill, like its predecessors, would create a three-year term of protection for clothing, handbags, eyeglass frames, and other types of apparel, preventing anyone else from using the same design as the original designer. For a look at some of the arguments around earlier versions…
This would be a marked departure from the state of the law now. Currently, apparel designers can apply for design patents to gain limited monopolies on many of their products, and trademark law prevents knockoff manufacturers from pretending to sell originals. But the proposed law would create an entirely new right for clothing designs—something that hasn’t existed in U.S. law.
Dougherty takes time to discuss the history of the variations of “Make” as they relate to Open Hardware.
He told the story of finding the word “Make” when working on a book related to the programming utility “make”, before demonstrating how a process of enlarging the scope of movement emerged through attempts to explore language about it.
The Open Hardware Summit opens with a keynote talk by Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine, who is himself the head of an Open Hardware company as well as a writer and thinker about the movement. He encourages those gathered to look to the next stage of evolving the Open Hardware movement, and avoid doctrinarian fighting over the notion of what Open Hardware might be. He explores what it means to have an Open Hardware business model, in practical terms.
Special shout-out to Adafruit for being involved in identifying, early on, the 2.6x BOM multiplier that has guided how the DIY world prices products.
Keep ahead of donors by innovating faster, supporting better. You can clone us but you can’t clone the community. Community beats cloning every time.
And an interesting rule of thumb for how DIY manufacturers might behave vs large industrial manufacturers.
“90-10″ Rule: 90% the performance of commercial options at 10% of the cost.
Particularly exciting to me was his Hierarchy of Reward pyramid, that points out the rewards his Open Hardware company is able to provide to give contributors something valuable to them without raising cost of products.
He also addresses the MakerBot question and cautions that we shouldn’t be dogmatic about Open Hardware but instead reward the mix of strategies that works, builds a sustainable business, and provides the community what it needs. He argues that Open Hardware business practices will be embraced because they work and make solid business sense.
His list of the seven limitations of OSH Limitations:
1. Cloning is Unstoppable.
2. Investors Aren’t Sure. (Want to see the barriers to commercial copying. His recommendation to consider: Open Software, Closed Hardware.)
3. It’s Hard to Keep Up.
4. It Doesn’t Extend Much Beyond Electronics and Lasercut Materials.
5. It Can Confuse the Marketplace.
6. It Tends to Drive Prices Down, Punishing Innovators Most.
7. Unlike Software, Mechanisms for “Giving Back” Are Not in Place. (Think GitHub for hardware.)
The Open Hardware Summit is the annual conference organized by the Open Source Hardware Association and the world’s first comprehensive conference on open hardware, a venue to discuss and draw attention to the rapidly growing open source hardware movement. Speakers include world renowned leaders from industry, academia, and the DIY community. Talks cover a wide range of subjects from electronics and mechanics to related fields such as digital fabrication, fashion technology, self-quantification devices, and DIY bio. Discussions and panels focus on, but are not limited to, education, manufacturing, design, business, and law. As a microcosm of the Open Source Hardware community, the Summit provides a friendly forum for discussion in line with our policies and desire to be as inclusive as possible.
The association has its own logo! Our shiny new logo echos a circle of the same Pantone 3135C color blue we all know and love from the OSHW logo. Also note how the circles look like derivatives of one another. We thought that was pretty neat. Special thanks to our graphic designer, David Steele Overholt, who worked with our schedule to release the new design in time for the Summit!
Some history: OSHWA decided to create its own logo as we began thinking deeper about what the OSHW logo meant to our community. We wanted to differentiate ourselves as an organization and avoid confusion with regard to whether the current OSHW logo stood for the definition or the organization.
And speaking of logos, thank you everyone for being patient while OHSWA continues to work with OSI to come up with a solution beneficial to everyone. I’m happy to report that OSI’s lawyer and OSHWA’s lawyer have been working hard on a co-existence agreement.
To sum it up, everyone keep using the gear logo for your hardware like you always have for your open-source hardware. The open source hardware association now has it’s own stand-alone logo for the organization that newly formed.
Open hardware platforms like the Arduino have turned device development into a hobbyist enterprise in recent years, but the $20 price tag of a microcontroller board seems a lot less tantalizing when one adds in the costs of testing and debugging it. At LinuxCon 2012 in San Diego, David Anders addressed this issue and offered some guidance on finding and selecting tools for open hardware development, the majority of which are open hardware themselves.
Openness and tools
“Open hardware” can mean a variety of things, from expensive commercial products with published schematics and chip designs all the way down to one-off experiments and home-brewed devices built from cheap parts like the Arduino microcontroller board. What the various definitions have in common, however, is the sharing of information, which in turn lowers the barrier to entry for participants in the community. But despite the “maker” movement’s popularity of late, the tools problem that accompanies it is rarely discussed. Reality is that the hardware to build rapid-prototyping and one-off projects may be cheap and plentiful — but the tools required to test and debug that hardware is expensive, specialized, and proprietary.
For example, bench-top oscilloscopes start at $250 and can go up well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Logic analyzers start at around $1000. Even sticking with the low end, Anders said, buying a tool that costs ten or one hundred times the price of the device you are building takes some of the shine off of the process, particularly for someone who only needs to make hardware on infrequent occasions. Furthermore, the commercial versions of tools like the oscilloscope are designed for use by people like electrical engineers, and have a difficult learning curve.