The open hardware movement involves a rapidly expanding group of DIYers, innovators, and entrepreneurs, trying to make hardware easier to share. Open source hardware is a term describing electronic devices which the instructions are freely available to modify, rebuild and redistribute derivatives. The open hardware movement has taken many cues from the open software foundation and GPL, however there are many differences when dealing with atoms rather than bits. Examples of open hardware include many platforms, each with community driven derivatives. At one end is the Arduino microcontroller and a strong community of users, and at the other a full-fledged Linux based BUG. BUG is also the first open hardware platform which has been strongly endorsed by the enterprise market, which points to a diversification within the community who understand and support the concept of open source hardware. The two key pieces to successful open hardware projects are a growing community and a successful user experience.
Bio: Alicia Gibb is a researcher and rapid prototyper at Bug Labs (http://www.buglabs.net). When she's not doing research on the crossroads of open technology and innovation, she's prototyping gadgets and artwork that blinks, twitches, and might even be tasty to eat. She is a catalyst in the open hardware movement, and chaired the first Open Hardware Summit in the fall of 2010. At Bug Labs she runs the academic research program and the Test Kitchen, an open R&D Lab, her current project is developing a new lightweight module, miniBUG. She has a master's degree in information science and one in art history.