Chumby and Greenphone, opening up the embedded device market

Recently two hardware announcements caught my interest, not only because cool mobile devices were introduced. More interestingly to me was the fact they brought the openness we all know from the open source software on our PCs and Laptops to the embedded devices market.
First Qtopia, announced the greenphone, a mobile phone that targets developers and geeks by enabling them to reflash the phones memory. This week, chumby.com, goes even a step further. Their device, the chumby, targeted to replace the good old radio clock at your bedsite with something cool is more or less completely open. This means that you not only can download the software powering the device but also the 2D and 3D data files for the boards and the casings as well as a bill of materials etc.

So why is this important ? Let’s have a closer look.

The greenphone — freeing the creativity of developers from the restrictions of the phone manufacturers and mobile operators

Normally flashing a phone’s memory is something that can only be done by the manufacturer of the phone. In addition, Qtopia adds a version of its well known Qtopia SDK to the package.

The chumby — a fully open gadget