SparkFun Engineer To Speak At 2012 Open Hardware Summit

Press Release | SparkFun Electronics | September 11, 2012

SparkFun Electronics (, a provider of parts, knowledge and passion for electronics creation, is honored to announce Engineer Mike Hord's presentation at the 2012 Open Hardware Summit ( Taking place on September 27th in New York, N.Y., the third annual conference is a venue to discuss and draw attention to the rapidly growing open source hardware community.

A vocal advocate of the open source approach since its beginnings, 2012 marks SparkFun's second year contributing speakers to the summit's lineup, and its third year as a major sponsor of the summit. Hord's talk will focus on the challenges facing the open source community when adhering to FCC regulation. Hord will address the need to take frequency usage regulation seriously in order to legitimize this facet of the open source hardware movement.

"My talk is an attempt to dispel some of the more rampant myths and misconceptions surrounding the legalities of OSHW in the United States with respect to FCC authorization to sell," Hord said. "In short, we have legal obligations to meet before we can sell certain products, as well as obligations to our customers and the community at large to preserve and protect the radio spectrum that we all increasingly rely on for our work and play."

The summit is organized by the Open Source Hardware Association (, which was founded in 2012 to promote and raise awareness and understanding of the open source hardware ideology. Speakers at the summit include world-renowned leaders from industry, academia and the DIY community. Talks will cover a wide range of subjects from electronics and mechanics to related fields such as digital fabrication, fashion technology and self-quantification devices. Discussions and panels will focus on, but are not limited to, education, manufacturing, design, business and law.

Open source hardware is a physical good whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make or sell the hardware based on that design. Ideally, open source hardware uses readily available components and materials, standard processes, open infrastructure, unrestricted content and open-source design tools to maximize the ability of individuals to make and use hardware. The majority of SparkFun's products -- notably Arduino and all SparkFun breakout boards -- are open source, and the company's Department of Education ( hosts tutorials and curriculum contributed by the community and based on a dedication to sharing ingenuity.

About SparkFun Electronics

Founded in 2003, SparkFun shares its passion by providing parts, knowledge, and innovation for those looking to explore the world of embedded electronics. It helps anyone discover their inner inventor and enables individuals to create their own electronics projects.

SparkFun currently offers more than 1,800 products, ranging from simple components, like capacitors and resistors, to GPS units and Bluetooth modules. The company employs 135 people and is based in Boulder, Colorado.