Imagine a future where anyone born with a speech impediment could get cutting-edge hardware without paying for it. Or, another scenario where a country is in dire need of desalination plants and could get the latest and most efficient one for free. The open source revolution is aimed at this equalization of the world which will put everyone at a level playing field. By working towards making the latest advancements in technology available to each and every person, various circumstantial aspects become negligible, allowing people to live and work to their highest potential.
Open source has generally been synonymous with software technology. Starting with the UNIX operating system becoming freely available and usable by anyone who wishes to use it, the open source movement has come a long way. Today, a lot of gadgets contain open source software, making accessibility an important aspect for software developers. Open source software allows for the free exchange of program code between developers, leading to a faster and a more user inclined development.
Software such as the Android OS and Mozilla Firefox are just some of the applications from which the effectiveness of freely available technology is evident. Even in the case of knowledge acquisition, websites such as Wikipedia have made large amounts of information, normally not easily available, just a click away for anybody the world over. But, open source is no longer limited to software, as is clearly displayed by the hardware innovations released every year.
For instance, open source hardware was recently created to utilize a data centre switch. This hardware makes it easier for companies storing information on the cloud to save on costs and store their data without the fear of vendor lock-outs. It also offers higher flexibility in terms of usage, an option that is preferred. With the backing of open source hardware innovations, the open source software movement will get a boost.
Additionally, one of the inventive open source products this year was a gadget called Mono. Mono is equipped with touch display technology, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and sensors like the accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. This device allows users to program it to work as a smart gadget in any way you want. It can be a device that checks temperature or even a one touch light for connected bulbs. This revolutionary idea of open source paves the way for developers to create any sort of application, customized for their needs.
Another case where open source is poised to change how accessibility benefits mankind is the open source technology promoted by Stephen Hawking. This technology aids disabled persons to communicate effectively with people around them faster thanks to the sensors attached to the wheelchair. It also eases daily activities like sending an email, by using cutting-edge speech-to-text technology and a camera that follows gestures.
Open source hardware and software could radically change the way humans function, by making technology easily available to anyone who may need it, from disabled persons and cloud-hosting companies to developers creating smart objects.
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