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Frequently asked questions


LibreTactile is an open organization concerned with equitable researching, developing, distributing and supporting open-source tactile technologies for human-computer interaction.

An open organization is a type of organization that values transparency, collaboration, inclusivity, and community. It means that everyone in the organization, regardless of their position, can contribute their ideas and work towards a common goal. The goal is to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas, which leads to a more innovative and effective organization.

We create open-source tactile technology.

Touching ideas.

To connect researchers, developers, users, and enthusiasts of tactile technology from different fields for the equitable research, development, distribution and support of open source tactile technologies for human-computer interaction.

While each of our projects has its unique characteristics, we prioritize the following design considerations during their development:

  • Equitable: Creating technology that considers the diverse needs and perspectives of all people, especially those who are historically excluded. It involves collaborating with communities to understand their needs and incorporating their feedback into the technology design.
  • Open source: Anyone in the world can build, support, improve, and sell the hardware so it can mature over time.
  • Modular: Simple and scalable designs that allow for different configurations to build more complex tactile human-computer interfaces.
  • Low-cost: Making it easier for everyone to access our tactile gadgets.
  • Easy to use: For users, hobbyists, makers, technicians, clinicians, and researchers.
  • Easy to build: With basic software or electronic skills, tools, and components.
  • Easy to modify: To facilitate the implementation of new ideas.

“I am, because we are; and since we are therefore I am.” - expression of Ubuntu by J. S. Mbiti
  • The concept of interconnection and interdependence fosters an appreciation and sense of responsibility towards others.
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."- Issac Newton
  • The open source principles, which empower people with the collective knowledge and achievements of humanity.
  • Groups like Makers Making Change, which help skilled individuals assist others.

We would love your help!

Whether you're passionate about graphic design, software/hardware development, researching, writing, translating, testing, promoting, managing repositories, or if you have an interesting vision for one of our projects, we welcome your contributions.

Get started by checking out our Github contribution guidelines.

You can also financially support the project by using the GitHub sponsor button or purchasing our products and merchandise.

Thank you for your support!

Open source

The Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) defines Open Source Hardware (OSHW) as:

"... hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design."

To learn more about open source hardware licensing and certification, you can check out the OSHWA FAQ. Their resources have been invaluable in the development of this project.

Hardware licensing can be more complex than software licensing, as copyright laws treat hardware differently. It's not advisable to use a software license, such as MIT, for hardware designs. Instead, the CERN has created an open-source hardware license (OHL) that follows the same principles as open-source software licenses and is compliant with the OSHWA definition of open hardware. This license is applicable to both hardware and software.

Our projects are licensed under the CERN Open Hardware License version 2, which has three variants: strong reciprocal (S), weak reciprocal (W), and permissive (P). We've chosen the permissive ( CERN-OHL-P v2) variant for our designs.

"CERN-OHL-P is a permissive licence. It allows people to take your code, relicense it and use it without any obligation to distribute the sources when they ship a product". - CERN OHL FAQ.

Our first project is focused on developing assistive technology for people with visual impairments. Unfortunately, emerging assistive devices often suffer from low adoption rates, slow implementation of new technologies, and a lack of documentation, support, and training. Many new assistive device designs never make it to market, leaving those who need them without access to their potential benefits.

To address these issues, we prioritize widespread adoption and use of the technology over strict control of its distribution and use. We believe that making our designs available through a permissive open-source license will encourage collaboration and innovation in the development of assistive technologies. Additionally, a permissive license may be more compatible with other open-source projects and standards, making it easier for others to integrate and collaborate with our designs.

Here are some key implications of choosing the CERN-OHL-P license:

  • You can create and share the hardware from the design files.
  • You can copy, distribute, or modify the design files.
  • You can take the design, relicense it and use it without any obligation to distribute the sources. If you relicense the project, you should also include a copy of our license text.
  • Include the license text, license use guide, and change log when sharing the hardware design source files. Keep the copyright and trademark notices, references to the CERN-OHL-P v2, and disclaimer of warranties intact if you don't modify the design. If you make changes, update these files and describe the changes in the change log.
  • The design files or hardware is provided 'as is' without any warranty. The licensor(s) have no liability for damages related to the project.
  • Patent litigants would lose the license rights.
  • If we notice that you've violated the license terms, we'll let you know. You'll have 30 days to fix the issue and comply with the license, which can be helpful if the violation was inadverted.

Disclaimer: Please note that we provide information to the best of our knowledge and abilities, but we cannot provide legal advice. If you identify any inaccuracies or inconsistencies in the information provided, please do not hesitate to contact us.

More questions

If you have more questions you can contact us at We'd love to hear your feedback! You can share it on the discussion tab of the LibreTactile Github page. This way, everyone can join the conversation and benefit from it.