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.