As you know, SparkFun is happy to spread the gospel of open source in any way we can. This is our third year as a sponsor of the annual Open Hardware Summit in New York City, which this year takes place on September 27. The summit, organized by our friends at the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA), is the world's first comprehensive conference on open hardware -- something we're obviously pretty stoked on. This year, our own Mike Hord is going as a speaker!
Mike will be talking about an issue that affects a lot of open hardware creators and suppliers, including us: FCC regulation. At SparkFun, we believe it's absolutely imperative to make sure our products are approved and don't cause harmful radio interference, in order to keep both ourselves and our customers out of federal trouble, and to keep the radio spectrum safe.
However, it's easy to see how one person or a small group experimenting with open source electronics might see FCC testing and frequency approval as an expensive and unnecessary hoop to jump through. Mike will attempt to dispel some misconceptions about the legalities of OSHW in the United States with respect to FCC authorization to sell, in order to preserve and protect the radio spectrum that we all increasingly rely on for our work and play. Recognizing the importance of federal regulation will help legitimize the open hardware movement and ease the ability to share the radio spectrum openly and equally.
Mike is among a wide range of speakers at the summit who will represent industry, academia and the DIY community. Talks and panel discussions will cover a wide range of subjects from electronics and mechanics, to related fields such as digital fabrication, fashion technology, self-quantification devices, education, manufacturing, design, business, and law. It's a fascinating and important event for anyone interested in learning more about or participating in the open source movement.
And now, we have good news and bad news. Which do you want first? Good news? Ok: The summit has sold out! People are pumped about open source! And now the bad news: The summit has sold out. But there is still hope! Tickets are still available as part of the Supporter-level sponsorship package, so if you or your company want to support the summit and head to New York, check out their options here!
In the meantime, SparkFun will be getting ready for the summit and will continue to support OSHWA and the conference, and be an active participant in the open source community! And if you go to the summit, be sure to check out Mike's talk and high five him afterward.