Sharing is the Code that Works Here

Thanks to makerspaces and cheap availability of tools , the open-innovation trend is catching up
Mumbai-based Shreekant Pawar and his team have been working on Diabeto, a diabetes management system which transfers blood sugar monitor readings into a diabetes app and then to the doctor, for three years and will now begin manufacturing. What is new is the way they open-sourced the entire hardware component.The hardware specifications are available on the company’s website and anyone can copy the design without worrying about being sued. “We got requests from countries in Africa, asking us how to go about building a product like this. This (diabetes management) is a huge problem everyone is trying to solve. We thought, why not make the hardware open source and help people. Now, people can just take a 3D printout of our product and build on it,“ said Pawar.

Diabeto is just one example of open innovation coming into the product space. Thanks to the mushrooming of makerspaces and the easy and relatively cheap availability of tools, the open innovation or mass-innovation trend is catching up. You can have a rudimentary prototype of your product and people will offer free suggestions, thereby, mass innovating a pro duct. “There are three main reasons why open innovation is the way forward. One, there is an easy availability of tools, which makes rapid prototyping easy. Two, if you showcase your design to the community, people will review it for you, help you build a better product, for free; and finally, there are less chances of it being copied be cause it is open source any way,“ said Anool Mahidha ria, an open-source hardware enthusiast and cofounder of Wyo Lum, a platform for open-source enthusiasts who collaborate on various projects.

Startups with budgetary constraints can use open innovation to better their product and keep the team to the bare minimum. Singapore-based engineers Andrew `Bunnie’ Huang and Sean `Xobs’ Cross, for instnace, designed a laptop in 2014, made completely from open-source hardware.

The makerspaces, where people come to build products by getting memberships, are at the heart of open innovation.

“I am always thinking, can I get two people from different backgrounds together so that they can collaborate,“ said Anupama Prakash, founder of Bengaluru-based Workbench Projects. Workbench Projects, along with the Red Cross and IoTBLR, are organising an enable makeathon, which aims to provide assisted devices to the physically challenged across the globe. This project aims to keep the entire innovation open source so as to make it affordable.

 Source: The Economic Times
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Author:

Neeraj; an entrepreneur & a visionary in the field of Railway, Defense & Automobiles, is a graduate in commerce and a Harvard Business School Alumni. He’s an expert in govt. liasoning & contracting and has an exceptional network & connections at both local as well as global level. He’s an expert in Market Strategy & Planning and has served number of overseas companies as an advisor/consultant. He takes a profound interest in upcoming startups & is very receptive towards ground-breaking ideas & innovations. He likes to brainstorm those ideas and if the values & philosophies matches; he is even ready to invest his resources, serve as a mentor or act as an incubator to futuristic businesses.

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