This year´s piksel festival is over, with focus on circuit bending and open hardware solutions. I could only stay the first day, but have been following part of the festival through the quite impressive streams archive from the festival.
I got to see the wonderful loud objects live, which I have written about before.
Last night I watched David Cuartielles from the Arduino team give an interesting talk about the beginning of the arduino project, the current status of the arduino development and challenges ahead. They have sold over 20000 boards, and it has become the standard tool for electronics prototyping. As a result of this position there are now clones being made all over the world, for instance a dual core arduino (!!) made by some people in South-Korea.
He talked about how everything with arduino is open, they only reserve the use of the name arduino. There is quite a big difference between open software and open hardware, as hardware needs to be manufactured so you need some initial investment. They have an interesting strategy for funding new development by letting corporations and institutions paying them to work on the arduino project, so for instance Samsung agreed to let Cuartielles make a lot of board designs which will be available for free soon, without Samsung having any rights to the designs. Some of these boards looked very interesting, like a 32 channel output board (which can be daisychained) with transistors to control lights, motors etc, a 64 channel input board, relay boards etc.
The arduino project is being restructured into a foundation, and some money will each year be used to support people and projects who have problems with access to hardware.
Here is a direct link to his talk (ogg stream).