Good Night Lamp

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"You have probably heard about the Internet of Things (IoT) – a network of web enabled physical objects, reporting information of some type from the physical realm to the virtual realm. You might have asked yourself – “What are some types of applications other than reporting the temperature of my asian fern garden to the internet?”

Lets take Good Night Lamp for an example of how to utilize the IoT infrastructure for delivering value to customers.

Good Night Lamp is a set of web enabled lamps – one lamp is the hub and the others are the receivers – when you turn on the hub lamp, all the reciever lamps also turn on. When you turn off the hub lamp, all the receiver lamps turn off. The basic concept is that you distribute the receiver lamps around the world in order to notify others when you “made it home safe”, “your ready or not”, or whatever you decide with your recipients the lamp condition will signify. You turn on the hub lamp from your home or office, and all the recipients reciever lamps will mimic the action.

The lamps themselves are not so much for illumination – they are an esthetically pleasing indicator – a wood crafted, soft light casting incarnation of whom it is you are communicating with. Yes, you could communicate the same with a text message, but the Good Night Lamp takes out the impartiality of a text and replaces it with a warm and friendly acknowledgement.

So about now you should be asking “Hey, where does the Open Source Hardware come in?!”

This brings me to the interesting part that I think as a community of Open Source Hardware enthusiasts we need to explore – when should a company open source its hardware?

So the bottom line is that Good Night Lamp is not an open source platform. The creators plan to open source portions of the hardware as they develop a user base and determine the most beneficial parts to open source.

Is it likely the entire hardware platform will open sourced? Your guess is as good as mine.

I will argue that a partially opened platform is more Open Source Hardware than a completely closed platform – and that any openness should be applauded in a world strewn with patent litigations." (

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