A hardware device that can be copied, made and sold by anyone without any royalties or payment. The detailed specifications are published free of charge. Following in the footsteps of open source software, the only requirement of open source hardware is that anyone making the product, whether they modify it or not, must acknowledge its origins and allow everyone else the same rights.
Open source hardware allows a fledgling company to gain fast notoriety if its products are copied by other companies and sold in volume. Even though the originator does not make royalties on devices made elsewhere, the publicity may allow it to sell more of its own product or become known for certain engineering talents. See open source