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making our security device open-source was essential to creating a platform that allowed our users total control of their private data. IsoKey’s open software and open hardware nature allows us to be fully transparent in who we are and what we do while maintaining a device the can be built upon by our own team and community.
trust from any company should be verifiable. making our security device open-source gives two main advantages: 1. allows the community to audit our designs in order to review and verify the structure of our device as well as spotting any errors that may have been overlooked to improve the hardware or software on the next update. 2. it gives each individual user the opportunity to audit their individual device to ensure the device is authentic, the chips and circuits are genuine, and the software and libraries are installed as designed.
open-source allows us to be fully transparent in what we claim and allows our devices the ability to be built upon by our team and community at large.
Why we are one source?
if you ask any investor or entrepreneur, they will explain the importance of unique innovation and protecting that intellectual property. often products aren’t built to solve a problem for the consumer, but rather built around defensible intellectual property, and then marketed to the consumer to convince them they need it. think Segway.
every year millions of man hours are spent by companies to develop and protect their technologies, only to have their competitors reverse-engineer, redesign, and modify the original designs enough to not overstep the original patent, only for it to end in litigation, wasting more hours and dollars on both sides.
this is often a wasteful practice that doesn’t benefit the consumer, the community, or technology as a whole. what if engineering talent was used to continue advancing technology and not as a weapon for profit?
imagine being part of a group of workers digging a hole, with a common goal of removing as much dirt as possible. instead of working together to remove as much dirt as possible, we continue to shovel dirt into the holes of our partners. sooner or later we will just be passing dirt around the hole and not removing it.
we at Isolated Electronics believe that open-source can create not only a more cohesive community that can accelerate technology advancement further by removing the waste caused by protectionive and litigative measures, but we can also funnel those resources into further advancing technology development, and in our specific case, create more secure and trustworthy products.
by being open-source, we release all of the source materials for making our product: the source-code for the software in readable plain text code, our circuit board schematics, and fabrication files. this allows anyone to scrutinize, review, stress test, contribute, and improve the original design, so we can rapidly re-introduce the updates into the product, which results in a safer, more robust product with a longer lifespan.
firstly, this allows the design to be audited by the community and any potential customer before purchase and even before launch of the product. this both demonstrates that we are playing fairly while also giving the opportunity for any weak points to be caught before release. secondly, it allows the end user the opportunity to audit their own device, to check that the product itself is authentic and comes from us, but also that it hasn’t been tampered with by a middle man.
for the consumer;
the consumer will gain peace of mind that the community at large has scrutinized the product even if they aren’t technically inclined enough to do it themselves. they will also benefit from a product that will continue to be developed upon and supported by like-minded people.
for technology as a whole;
it pains me to see intelligent, creative engineers’ capacity wasted on the pursuit of new IP or avoidance of others’ IP. working together to build upon each other’s technology over time, we can reduce the amount of engineering funds allocated for protection, circumvention, and litigation and reallocate them to discussing, collaborating, and advancing technology.