The Open Enigma Project is not about some state of the art technology. Instead it is helping to create a piece of World War II technical nostalgia.
Estimated Delivery: April – July 2014
Location: Columbus, GA
Forum: Open Engima Project
This is a great piece of tech nostalgia for anyone who is into either war memorabilia or old school technology. The DIY version can also provide some experience constructing electronic devices from components. Plus, it might be a fun device to have around if you’re studying cryptography. It’s somewhat amusing that this project happens to coincide with me taking a course on internet security and cryptography. Another member of our team has also had a strong interest in cryptography.
Seeing the project also brings back memories of tinkering around with various electronic components when I was a kid. For adults who used to tinker around with such projects when they were younger this is a good project, but it also might be something you want to work on with any younger family members.
Imagine having this iconic device on your desk: You can use it to simply display a scrolling marquee of any text message on its unique LED screen or encrypt/decrypt any information you wish using (still today) a very secure key. This is an ideal device to teach or learn about encryption, history & math. Because of its open software & the community of developers, the possibilities are endless & your reward is bound to increase in value over time as new applications (like e-mail encryption, secure router, etc) are written.
The original (pre-war) Enigma code was initially broken in Poland and subsequently by a team of Bletchley Park cryptologists under the leadership of U.K.’s own Alan Turing who is one of the fathers of computer science. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing Bletchley Park’s ability to break the Enigma code is believed to have shortened World War II by about 2 years. Enigma machines are an extremely rare and important part of computing history. A real Enigma machine sold for $200,000 in 2011.
Pledge Levels: 14 levels ranging from $5 to $900
End Date: Fri, Apr 4 2014 6:00 PM EST
Chances of success
The main use of the Open Engima Machine would be educational in nature, rather than use as some futuristic piece of technology like the SeeSpace InAiR. You’re not going to get much actual use out of a machine whose cryptographic methodology was broken decades ago. It’s more just for fun and for learning. However, people have spent huge sums of money just to own a piece of history and a fair amount to own replicas of such pieces, and given the amount of support the Open Engima Project has already received, I don’t think the campaign will have much trouble succeeding.