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Now we’re talking! This is great! Open Source Hardware on New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth”!

The Italian design firm Arduino makes one of the hottest circuit boards used by gadget builders today. Since mass production began two years ago, the company has sold about 50,000 units – not bad for a small start-up nestled in the medieval foothills of Milan.

But there’s something different about Arduino – their business model. They give everything away. On their Website you can download all the design plans, send them off to a Chinese factory, mass-produce the boards, and sell them yourself. There are no patents. You can pocket the change without paying Arduino a dime. Sounds crazy? It’s part of a new movement called open source hardware.

WIRED Magazine contributing editor Clive Thompson wrote about Arduino and this new trend in technology, and he joins Word of Mouth with more on how open source hardware makes sense as a business model.