The world changes when people come together to build new things. In the world of technology, this often happens with open-source projects. When developers from all over the world start working on a project, things tend to be complete if not quickly, then eventually and with amazing results.
But, not everything is software when you consider open source. There have been gadgets and physical projects which were built using open source code, or the open-source mentality and approach to things. Here are the best of them.
Librem 5 – Linux Open Source Mobile Phone
Yes, everybody has a mobile phone but who in the world would want a Linux one? Well, plenty of people, believe it or not. Not everybody is fond of trackers integrated into devices, following your every move, no matter how many privacy settings you turn on.
You know, the large companies, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Huawei, everybody has an interest in data, whether for advertisements or something more malicious, which will be left for those with more creative minds to tackle.
The Librem 5 is a modular phone where you can physically disconnect and kill its functions, like the WiFi and Bluetooth modular, which is separately mounted. It can also support multiple mobile Linux distributions, for complete and utter privacy control. The battery is removable, a trend long-forgotten by the “smartphone” industry.
PinePhone – Another Linux Mobile Phone
There is something to be said about two functional Linux mobile phones, which can grant the user their rights back, their rights to privacy. Once you open the back panel of the PinePhone, you can disable the front and rear cameras, Bluetooth and WiFi, as well as the GSM module and microphone. Nobody can listen in if everything is physically turned off.
Both phones are a step in the right direction, one which open source people and those concerned with privacy will cherish.
RISC-V – Instruction Set
RISC-V is an open-source instruction set. An instruction set on its own has no merit, except this one is open source and its implementations will not cost anybody anything. An implementation of an instruction set would be a CPU, for example, which can use it for whichever purpose.
RISC-V was designed by the University of California, Berkeley and it is a great thing, which allows both hobbyists and serious companies, small and large, to approach development on their own terms, without having to pay fees to others.
Open source projects are aplenty but many of them have had realizations in the real world, other than software. From the two phones and the instruction set to projects like Arduino, AXIOM, Nitrokey, open source is changing the world, one project at a time, particularly those which are being implemented.