Applied Biosystems makes file formats open source
Back when I was outside the academic sector I remember the groans and moans over working with the ubiquitous ABI sequencing/genotyping/rt-pcr machines and their crazy proprietary file formats. We had to invent ways to get around the restrictions imposed by the software that we had to use because of their almost monopolistic hold of the market share (in all fairness they were the best machines at the time).
Either way, they have made their ABI file formats open source, so now who knows what is possible. One interesting use would be to associate specific read data with published SNP data so that the quality of the data can be assessed.
Thanks to Colin who made me aware of this story!