Last week, Phillip Torrone and Limor Fried presented the closing keynote, “Open Source Hardware: A Start…” at O’Reilly Media’s Open Source Convention. Open source hardware is a term slowly working its way into many new projects and efforts, but what is it? There are a few definitions, some of which come from “open source software,” which is usually considered software’s “source code under a license (or arrangement such as the public domain) that permits users to study, change, and improve the software, and to redistribute it in modified or unmodified form.” So how does this translate to hardware? This session will focus on electronic hardware, the layers they can be divided into, different document types, licensing concerns, and a show-n-tell of hardware. Video Link

Update: The slides are now available


  • Open source hardware, what is it? Here’s a start… – Link
  • MAKE: Blog: Open source hardware Archives – Link
  • More OSCON videos – Link
Brian Jepson

Brian Jepson

I’m a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I’m not tinkering, I’m probably editing a book for Maker Media.

  • eccramer

    This talk was by far my favorite when it (or an earlier version of it) was given at Maker Faire this year. I find it very encouraging that there are more and more (though still too few) open source hardware projects. The day when I can download the 32 files for an MP3 player enclosure, then quickly build the electronics for it from freely downloadable schematics, is a day that I anticipate with bated breath.

  • blubrick

    I thought for just a moment, that this might have been a follow-up story to this one.

  • Jason0x21

    I liked this talk, but is there anywhere to get the slides? Watching Phil make vague gestures with his hand (well, vague until I realized he had a remote, that is) and Limor pointing off frame while making a point made the whole thing sorta frustrating.

  • bjepson

    Hi Jason, Phil has posted the slides here. I’ve updated this post as well; thanks for the reminder.