In factories and automated estates across the world, aberrant efforts are being made to ensure hospitals have ventilators, and acumen firms have freezers and refrigerators. Behind the scenes, this accomplishment drive has been taking place on an epic, aberrant scale. In some places, it’s also been horrendously inefficient.

Some of that disability is only to be expected. Accomplishment responsively at such short notice was always going to be messy. But many of the accouterments hold-ups we’ve witnessed – from assembly line bottlenecks to part shortages – could be abhorred in the future by applying an “open source” ethos to the world’s assembly of hardware.

Open source design is a form of aggregate intelligence, where experts work calm to create a design that anyone has the legal right to manufacture. The software industry has long shown that “open” accord is not only accessible but advantageous. Open source software is ubiquitous, and the servers that power the internet itself are abundantly run on open technology, collaboratively advised by aggressive companies.

Early in the pandemic, and in acceptance of the global emergency that was unfolding, dozens of the world’s better companies did absolutely sign up to the “Open COVID Pledge,” able to share their bookish acreage to help fight the virus. On a abate scale, more than 100 activity teams set out to create and share “open” chase designs that could be produced locally, allowance abode the acute need for ventilators around the world.

Unfortunately, neither of these initiatives succeeded in bearing ventilators at the rate appropriate by continued hospitals in the early weeks of the pandemic. After analytical absolute attempts to share the bookish acreage of machines, our recent paper concludes that projects must be open from the start in order to make a success of open hardware. Everything from the first doodle on a napkin to the abundant calculations that verify safety must be accessible if other experts and manufacturers are going to participate in the design.