Limor Fried

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Limor Fried
Limor Fried at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013
OccupationElectrical engineer
Known forOpen source movement
Spouse(s)Phillip Torrone

Limor Fried is an American electrical engineer and owner of the electronics hobbyist company Adafruit Industries. She is influential in the open-source hardware community, having participated in the first Open Source Hardware Summit and the drafting of the Open Source Hardware definition, and is known for her moniker ladyada, a homage to Lady Ada Lovelace.

Career and recognition[edit]

Fried studied at MIT, earning a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) in 2003 and a Master of Engineering in EECS in 2005. For part of the qualification she created a project called Social Defense Mechanisms: Tools for Reclaiming Our Personal Space. Following the concept of critical design she prototyped glasses that darken when a television is in view, and a low-power RF jammer that prevent cell phones operating in a user’s personal space.[1]

Fried was an Eyebeam fellow from 2005-2006.[2][3]

During 2005, Fried founded what became Adafruit Industries, first in her MIT dorm room, later moving to New York.[4] The company designs and resells open source electronic kits, components, and tools, mainly for the hobbyist market.[5] In 2010 the company had eight employees and shipped more than $3 million worth of product.[5] The company's mission extends beyond the adult hobbyist audience to pre-school STEM education.[6]

In 2009, she was awarded the Pioneer Award by the Electronic Frontier Foundation for her participation in the open source hardware and software community.[7] Fried was awarded the Most Influential Women in Technology award, in 2011, by Fast Company magazine.[8] and became the first female engineer featured on the cover of Wired.[9] In an interview with CNET, Fried said, "If there's one thing I'd like to see from this, it would be for some kids to say to themselves "I could do that" and start the journey to becoming an engineer and entrepreneur."[10][11] Limor was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" in 2012 by Entrepreneur, of the 15 finalists she was the only female.[12]

Fried is a member of the IEEE Spectrum editorial advisory board as of late 2017.[13]


Open Kinect Project[edit]

In response to the launch of Microsoft's Kinect for the Xbox 360 in 2010, Fried, along with Phillip Torrone, organized a $1,000 challenge to create an open source driver.[5] After Microsoft condemned the challenge as modification to their product, Adafruit increased the prize to $2,000 and then $3,000.[15][16][17][18] This prompted a response from a Microsoft company spokesperson:

Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products ... With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.[19]

After significant advancements in the open source drivers, spokespeople from Microsoft stated that they did not condemn the challenge, and in fact were excited to see what the community developed.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Research". Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Eyebeam Limor Fried". Eyebeam. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  3. ^ "An interview with Limor Fried | The Blueprint". The Blueprint. Archived from the original on 2015-02-23. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  4. ^ Monica Rozenfeld (2015-09-09). "How DIY Electronics Startup Adafruit Industries Became a Multimillion-Dollar Company". IEEE - The Institute. Retrieved 2015-09-28. ...started the venture in her dorm room at MIT...
  5. ^ a b c Tozzi, John (December 6, 2010). "Adafruit Targets Tinkerers With 'Open-Source' Electronics Kits". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  6. ^ Kumagai, Jean (2013-04-22). "Profile: Limor Fried". IEEE - Spectrum. Retrieved 2015-09-28. Lately she and her team are out to prove that even the preschool set can appreciate the beauty of the electron.
  7. ^ "Hardware Hacker, E-Voting Investigator, and Public Domain Advocate Win Pioneer Awards". Electronic Frontier Foundation. October 6, 2009. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  8. ^ Zax, David. "Limor Fried". 2011 Most Influential Women in Technology. Fast Company. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  9. ^ "Wired Issue 19.04". Wired. March 29, 2011.
  10. ^ Blue, Violet (December 17, 2012). "Magazine names hacker Limor Fried 'Entrepreneur of the Year'". CNET. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  11. ^ Matheson, Rob (May 30, 2013). "Meet the maker: MIT alumna Limor Fried has become a pioneer of the 'maker movement' with her multimillion-dollar company". MIT News. Retrieved 2013-11-22.
  12. ^ Entrepreneur (magazine)
  13. ^ Cass, Stephen. "Build an Illuminated Halloween Costume With the Wearable Gemma M0 Microcontroller". IEEE Spectrum. IEEE. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Limor Fried". Forbes.
  15. ^ "The Open Kinect project – THE OK PRIZE – get $3,000 bounty for Kinect for Xbox 360 open source drivers". Adafruit. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  16. ^ "Kinect Hack Makes Microsoft Angry, Deny its Existence". PCWorld. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  17. ^ "Bounty offered for open-source Kinect driver". Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  18. ^ "$2,000 Bounty Put on Open-Source Kinect Drivers". Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  19. ^ Terdiman, Daniel (November 4, 2010). "Bounty offered for open-source Kinect driver". CNET. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  20. ^ Flatow, Ira (November 19, 2010). "How The X-Box Kinect Tracks Your Moves". National Public Radio. Retrieved February 14, 2013.

External links[edit]