Mobile OS developer OpenMoko opened it's hardware design to customization, providing free access to their CAD files which are available under a ShareAlike Creative Commons license. Following their open source strategy, OpenMoko now hopes to also win over designers who are interested in sharing their ideas with the community for mutual gain and inspiration. At the end of this process could stand nothing but complete customization of products in terms of both design and functionality.
As such, OpenMoko decided to completely open itself to the market of applied cell technologies as well. A market even though still in it's childhood may one day play an important role in interacting in future environments. After all mobile technologies have long crossed the line of just remaining inside one's cell phone and just for the purpose to remain open for calls.
While currently facing severe competition from other open source platforms such as Google's Android system, this step may form an anchor to keep open source developers in the boat and OpenMoko products (e.g. the Neo cell) in the race. As other open software projects have proven multiple times, it is steady and enduring development which separates the wheat from the chaff in the world of free and deliberate contributions. Thus, only time will tell whether OpenMoko succeeds to create enough creative momentum to establish such a solid hardware developer base for interested and inspiring designers to join the team and keeping the idea alive.
If they succeed however, their hardware opening up may lead to a whole new level of mobile applications and joint ventures providing them. Effectively turning OpenMoko into a first choice partner for almost any company seeking to share the advantages of the mobile market while not yet being offered the appropriate gateway for the practical demands of their products and customers.
More information on OpenMoko projects at: http://www.openmoko.com