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Open Device Lab reaches 1,000 bits of kit

The Open Device Lab movement has announced that there are now more than 1,000 devices being made available to developers for testing their sites. LabUp! founder Andre Jay Meissner remarked that the movement had to date “managed what any single web company would struggle to accomplish”, given the large costs involved in buying devices. He estimated kit worth about €500,000 is now spread around ODLs worldwide.

We reported earlier this year about tracking communal device labs, and the number has steadily grown since then. There are now 66 ODLs in 22 countries, and Meissner said 30 more are preparing to open their doors. A new lab appears approximately once every week.

Meissner recently stressed in an article for .net the importance of testing on real devices and sharing them with others in the industry. We asked him about the latest ODL milestone and what more those in the industry could do to help.

.net: What does crossing the 1000-device point mean to you? Do you consider this a big landmark regarding ODLs?
AJM: Crossing the 1000-device mark shows the spirit of the community in pushing forward emerging technology and ensuring the best user experience possible. It also shows the industry has realised ODLs are great locations to make available new technology to a broad audience of developers at a low cost. In the end, everybody is winning.

.net: If you've no nearby ODL, how should you go about making one yourself? Are there any big dos and don'ts?
AJM: There are a number of things to consider, because there are various ways how an ODL could be established. LabUp! can help you plan how to start and run a lab – we provide a growing list of resources.

.net: If you’re a freelancer, how can you help?
AJM: If you’ve got a piece of hardware you no longer need, consider donating it to an ODL. Most ODLs publish a device list on their site, crediting the donator. Giving back to the community is much better than having your old device rot away in a drawer!