By: Hailey Temple

School of Information Studies (iSchool) students Chris Becker and Isaac Budmen will attend the 3rd Annual 2012 Open Source Hardware Summit on September 27 in New York City to explore the possibilities offered by open source technology.

The conference, organized by the Open Source Hardware Association, is a venue that offers attendees the opportunity to openly discuss the developments and opportunities that are growing in the open source hardware movement. Speakers and panels will focus on how open source impacts industries like education, fashion, manufacturing, design, business and law. The keynote speaker for the conference, Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, will discuss how open source impacts business and microeconomics.

“We looked at the sessions and speakers and were hooked,” said Budmen, a graduate student at the iSchool. “It’s going to be such an incredible wealth of hardware knowledge in one place.”

Becker and Budmen hope to use this wealth of knowledge to apply to their latest projects at Little Tinker, their start-up company based at the Syracuse Student Sandbox. Alongside S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications graduate and co-founder Chris Azar, the team depends on open source hardware to create consumer-friendly products that make technology delightful for everyone. For the Little Tinker team, this will be more than an opportunity to grow, but to make connections, as well.

“We want to be on the cutting edge of what’s coming up in the industry so we know what to build in the future and can take advantage of new products,” said Becker, a junior at the iSchool. “OHS2012 is not just a chance to know what’s coming, but also to make connections with people in the industry. We are geeks at heart, so meeting people with our interests will present new opportunities for Little Tinker.”

Open source hardware is made available to the public to study, modify, and distribute to share knowledge and encourage commerce. Although open source hardware is relatively new to the technology world, developers like Budmen and Becker are using and exchanging open source hardware to create new products that help the world around them.

“The world of open source hardware as it exists right now is very similar to the time when the PC was still a hobbyist product and guys were soldiering these things together in their basements. It’s a very exciting time to be attending what is the first chapter of this piece of the future,” said Budmen.

To learn about the panels, speakers, and discussions at Open Hardware Summit 2012, follow them on Twitter: @OHSummit.