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Open source phone Openmoko opens design
Posted on 5-Mar-2008 10:19. | Tags Filed under: News.

Open source phone Openmoko opens design
Openmoko has posted the industrial design source files for its Neo branded mobile phones. Industrial design artists now have the same freedom as software engineers to create from this original idea.

Openmoko's source code was freed in February 2007, allowing complete transformation of its mobile phone software. Now, by publishing mechanical CAD files, Openmoko frees industrial designers to fundamentally redesign the Neo branded mobile phones to fit their vision and market needs.

Some already have. Openmoko posted the Neo CAD files on its site without fanfare. Within days, Guillermo Sureda-Burgos (, visiting instructor of Industrial Design at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, said: "I am amazed at the depth of your commitment to open design. This must be the first time in history that a company has opened its intellectual property to this extent. Openmoko's revolutionary posting of the CAD files gives a whole new generation of Industrial Design students incredible insight into how it's done as well as an opportunity to contribute with new concepts."

Openmoko posted the CAD files under a ShareAlike Creative Commons license, thereby establishing a community where designers and developers can share concepts about the next generation of Open Source mobile computing devices.

The company encourages developers and designers to build their businesses by leveraging the Openmoko FOSS and CAD resources to speed development of new mobile products.

Because of the response by developers and industrial designers to the initial posting of the Neo 1973 CAD files, Openmoko has committed to opening the CAD files for the design of the upcoming Neo Freerunner mobile phone before the phone even hits the market.

The decision to release the files that describe the physical shell of the device was driven by the community of Open Source developers. The goal was to enable changes to the case that go beyond mere cosmetics and address the fundamental needs of specific vertical markets by modifying the phone from the inside out.

The Neo series of open mobile devices is currently being sold to developers and educational institutions worldwide through Openmoko, the independent subsidiary of Taiwan electronics company FIC.

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