The State of OSHdata and Open Hardware

There’s a lot happening, so I want to take some time to update you on the OSHdata project and what we see happening next in the broader Open Source Hardware community as we look ahead to Open Hardware Month in October.

OSHdata was started earlier this year by myself (Harris Kenny) and my friend and co-creator Steven Abadie. We worked together to create and publish the 2020 Report on the State of Open Source Hardware, which we released under an open CC BY-SA 4.0 International license.

Our report took a deep dive into how to price open source products, which licenses are being used by open source hardware projects, the growth of open hardware, and potential ways that we would modify OSHWA’s certification application. In parallel, OSHWA has been working on developing an API to increase accessibility of their data—which means more and easier reporting in the future!

After publication, we co-authored articles on new open hardware for Make: magazine and received media coverage in a number of different places like Hackster.io from Gareth Halfacree, Fabbaloo from Sarah Goehrke, and the Makers on Tap podcast co-hosted by Aaron Peterson and Joe Spanier. In many ways, this project has already exceeded our expectations. But there’s still more work to be done.

Our research has been read in over 40 countries around the world, on every continent—except Antarctica. Our report helped increase awareness of the certification program and created a sense of friendly competition between some of the leading Open Source Hardware companies in the world. Since our report was first published, the program went from slightly over 400 certifications to now boasting over 1,000 certifications!

The State of OSHdata and Open Hardware

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