Because Arduino is a prototyping platform, innovation is it's mission not an unexpected bonus. That would seem to be a recipe for burnout but judging from the team photograph and array of inventions, Massimo Banzi's Arduino team doesn't show any sign of exhaustion. Their dedication to producing open-source electronics is another aspect of the group that goes against the grain of a commerce-crazy Internet that has been consistently hostile to open-source the values that made the Internet successful.
Based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software, Arduino labs offers the prospect of developing items that are less and less like a phone or a tablet but still utilizing Android technology. One group of products Arduino has developed is described as shields by Banzi. Circuits that can be easily arranged with their purpose being to extend functionality. In the example of the wi-fi shield, which Banzi displays in his presentation, it looks pretty uninteresting but some of its significance is that its underlying "source code and all the other parts" as Banzi puts it, are also open source. Arduino welcomes hacking and understands it as part of the original ethic of the Internet, where competing was secondary to cooperation and functionality was extended as a result of people with different perspectives taking apart and tinkering with technology.
Massimo Banzi is the co-founder of the Arduino project He has worked as a consultant for clients such as: Prada, Artemide, Persol, Whirlpool, V&A Museum and Adidas.
He spent 4 years at the Interaction Design Institue Ivrea as Associate Professor. Massimo has taught workshops and has been a guest speaker at institutions like: Architectural Association – London, Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Basel, Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd, FH Potsdam, Domus Academy, Medialab Madrid, Escola Superior de Disseny Barcelona, ARS Electronica Linz, Mediamatic Amsterdam, Doors of Perception Amsterdam.
Before joining IDII he was CTO for the Seat Ventures incubator. He spent many years working as a software architect,both in Milan and London, on projects for clients like Italia Online, Sapient, Labour Party, BT, MCI WorldCom, SmithKlineBeecham, Storagetek, BSkyB and boo.com.
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Photo: The Arduino Project