- January 1, 2013
- Everywhere Tech
Everywhere Tech’s mission is to facilitate open source technology transfer to help create resilient communities around the world. We do this by connecting universal open source hardware solutions with real-world needs.
Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design. The hardware’s source, the design from which it is made, is available in the preferred format for making modifications to it. Ideally, open source hardware uses readily-available components and materials, standard processes, open infrastructure, unrestricted content, and open-source design tools to maximize the ability of individuals to make and use hardware. Open source hardware gives people the freedom to control their technology while sharing knowledge and encouraging commerce through the open exchange of designs. — The Open Source Hardware Definition
One of the greatest promises of open source hardware (OSHW) is in allowing local production of goods when and where they are needed. While OSHW is already having an impact in several areas of manufacturing and encouraging local and distributed production, it hasn’t yet been effectively applied to assist communities with the most pressing needs, namely:
- Underprivileged communities, which often struggle with poverty while having a wealth of natural resources at their disposal.
- Disaster areas where goods and services that are normally taken for granted are no longer available and become of vital importance: power generators, connectivity, emergency medical devices, transportation, water testing/filtering devices, etc.
Several obstacles stand between open source hardware projects and the communities who need them the most: they don’t know that these solutions exist, they may not understand the language the plans are described in, they may not have the appropriate hardware/software to download and read the plans, they may not have the tools and materials nor the skills to build the devices.
The Everywhere Tech project seeks to address these challenges by facilitating open source technology transfer, with a focus on sharing plans and knowledge instead of delivering fully assembled devices/goods. If the knowledge and skills needed to build devices reside within the communities that use them this will ensure: replicability of the devices, longer lasting devices which can be locally repaired, solutions better adapted to available materials and uses.