A Sketchy History: USB and Open Hardware

USB is the go-to interface for small electronic devices, and open hardware is no exception. From Kickstart campaigns to hobby projects, there are more USB connectors on open hardware than ever before. Each of these devices needs a unique ID number, issued in blocks by the USB Implementers Forum at a cost of $2000. A big company doesn’t blink at $2000 for an ID, but it locks out small makers and open source communities. The ID also comes with restrictions that don’t jive with open source, namely it can’t be shared under an open source license. Hear the technical, odd, sometimes humorous, usually sad tale of USB and open hardware.

Ian Lesnet

About Ian Lesnet
Ian builds a new open hardware project every month at DangerousPrototypes.com. Copies of the projects are available from Seeed Studio’s open hardware manufacturing service.