Essentially the Wild Ducks project matches Symbian open software with open hardware to create a completely open Symbian device. While it's not really going to be creating a practical, consumer ready, phone anytime soon it does open up a great deal of possibilities.
A key goal of the Wild Ducks project is to provide a base which others can build off. The team intends to provide a complete hardware and software stack that can the community can build on an experiment with. Using off the shelf, low cost, hardware and providing a fullly documented process (so others can replicate the project) are keystones in maintaining the accessibility of the project.
As Arunabh mentions in the video below the project is currently primarily involves members of the Symbian Foundation and Accenture. However they are planning to open it up and allow others in to help with the project and encourage other open hardware based projects as part of a regular Tuesday get together.
However the real potential is in the ability, once the Wild Ducks project matures, for others to build on top of the resources that will be made available and put together their own projects, mash ups and experiments. For example you could add temperature sensors to create a Symbian powered weather station or create a Symbian powered home automation system (both of which could be addressable by SMS commands, Bluetooth or a web server running on the phone).
Arunabh Ankur on Wild Ducks
In this video Arunabh tells us the story behind the Symbian Wild Ducks project, how it got set set up and what it aims to do.
Wild Ducks - the hardware (demo)
And here's a video showing the hardware components making up the Wild Ducks project. The video explains the different bits of hardware being used and shows a demo of it booting in to Symbian^2. Bear in mind that when we did the filming the project was a work in progress in its early stages. We're expecting to see Wild Ducks at MWC and we'll bring and update live from Barcelona.