What’s driving open source
An open source project is released publicly, with design files available online for download with a defined sharing licence which allows designers to replicate, hack, improve, modify and contribute to the project. Of course, there are some factors driving hobbyists, electronic enthusiasts and even professional designers to replicate, improve and build stuff. Let’s find out what’s motivating them to do so.
Cost-effective tools enabling open system designs. With respect to India, although open source electronics is still at a nascent stage, Kavita Arora, founder, Bangalore MakeSpace and Open Source Creativity, says, “Electronic components and embedded computing modules are getting more affordable today, which is definitely one of the most interesting changes in this arena.” This cost-effectiveness is motivating hobbyists to design and build systems in a budget-friendly manner. Popular boards like Arduino are also copied and built into non-branded (such as Freeduino) boards that sell at a lower cost at sites like kitsnspares.com
Sharing his personal experience, Sivaram notes, “When I used to buy boards, an Arduino, for instance, cost me around 1100 rupees. Keeping aside the Chinese clones of Arduino, Indian boards are available today for 600 to 700 rupees. The hobbyists I meet today are buying these pocket-friendly, India made boards which enable them to build many projects.” This is really driving the costs down and, in turn, helping a lot of people build stuff using open source hardware.