Join Ayah Bdeir for an in-depth discussion in this video The open-source hardware model, part of Creative Insights: Ayah Bdeir and littleBits.
I've been for a long time inspired by the open source software movement and what it allowed in terms of new products, new games, new computers new operating systems to, to exist in the world through this idea of opening up the code and opening up the platforms that you were coding. And so I've been, ever since I first started working on littleBits, really interested in how you apply that to hardware. And in the first days when I was doing that, I was a fellow at Eyebeam, an art and technology center here in New York, and basically brought together a group of pioneers and leaders in the open hardware movement from companies like AdaFruit and Arduino and SparkFun, and really brought them all together to participate in a workshop that was called The Opening Hardware Workshop.
And the idea for that workshop was really to think about how do we create legal framework, how do we create software framework for us to share hardware inspired by the way the, the software movement did it. Out of that workshop we came up with something called the Open Hardware Definition, which was a set of stated terms of what open hardware was. And we opened it up to the world for people to sign and to approve and to edit, and it became an open process for coming up with this definition.
And then out of that also, started a relationship with Alicia Gibb, who was a friend, and was also interested in some of these same ideas, and we both came together to start the Open Hardware Summit. At the time it was a small conference that had about 300 people attend, and then you had call of science around maker fair, and now has been, running for the past 4 years, and has thousands and thousands of attendees from all over the world. People fly in for it, and it's referenced, in, in, any sort of, big discussion around open hardware and it's become the quintessential event and conference around open hardware in the world.
By putting up the design files for littleBits online we're essentially opening up the conversation to how the designs are made and how the electronics were, were put together. And so we'll put them online and then we'll get email from people that say, oh have you thought about using this chip instead of that chip, or, or have you thought about combining this bit with that bit, or, they sort of, you know, they get in a little deeper and, and, and ask us questions, and sometimes find bugs that we haven't thought of. So you, we have this kind of conversation that happens, some of it online some of it offline and it's just really interesting and, and keeps you always on your toes.
And the other really exciting event that happened is in 2011 or 12 I believe, CERN the, the, the Large Hadron Collider decided to ratify their own Open Hardware License based on the open hardware definition that we had come up with. So they, it, it, it becomes, you know, really exciting to see it's such a large, respected worldly Institution, that's, that's putting together the largest scientific experiment in the world, using as a basis the definition for open hardware that we had come up with.
And so it's it, it makes it real. It's, it's not, it's not a little thing that a group of us are, are playing on the side with. It's you know, this is a global movement that now has affected change in, in the world. And it's very exciting. [BLANK_AUDIO]