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OpenMoko - If you can’t open it, you don’t own it

Rob Beschizza  of Wired’s Gadget lab writes about OpenMoko, who first created an open source software platform for smartphones, , and now released CAD files that enable anyone who can modify them, to do so, and then mill their own phone on a 3D prototyping machine

.OpenMoko

Following Mark Weiser’s vision of the disappearing computer they believe in giving developers full access to software and hardware alike.

“Say you bought a cellphone. Say you decided you didn’t like the look of it much.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could sketch your ideal design, have a buddy knock it up in a 3D modeling program, then see it in the flesh? With OpenMoko’s FreeRunner, an open-source linux cellphone, it’s a piece of cake: the CAD files are on the net for all to download.

“With your current phone, you might be able to change the skin, add some rhinestones. Inconsequential customization,” said OpenMoko’s Steve Mosher. “With this, you can change the physical shell.”

More here

Add comment March 3rd, 2008

Leah Buechley and her LilyPads

Do you have this flower shaped board with built-in bluetooth module in other colors? How about the Paisley shaped one?

Leah Buechley is a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Colorado and she’s part of the Craft Technology Group. her research explores the intersection of computational and physical media, focusing on computational textiles or electronic textiles (e-textiles) - soft, flexible, fabric-based computers. Her work in e-textiles includes developing a method for creating cloth printed circuit boards (fabric PCBs) and designing the commercially-available LilyPad Arduino system, which enables novices to build soft wearable computers.

LilyPad Arduino: e-textile construction kit vLilyPad Arduino: e-textile construction kit version 2.0ersion 2.0

LilyPad Arduino

Arduino board

Hard core Arduino

What I love about the work she does is that it makes it accessible to technophobics, eliminating the technical look and feel current electonics have. it looks like an object of desire rather than a misterious, cold artefact most electronic parts look like. The aesthetic qualities of her electronics appeal to people on the emotional level rather than the rational one.

Can you imagine embedding Lilypads into the fabrics in quilting class and making it reactive when you cuddle with your sweetheart in it? I can.

Add comment February 24th, 2008


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