LONDON, England – This weekend, at the onedotzero festival, Nokia announced a new initiative dubbed PUSH N900. It’s all about hacking, and the push (we assume) refers to pushing the N900 beyond your own expectations. We’ve already shown how the Nokia N900 was used to manipulate a projected image at the festival, and the folks from Tinker.it and Hyper spent Sunday afternoon showing off some projects they’ve already created with the aid of the N900. But PUSH N900 isn’t just any old gesture, it’s a bone fide competition where hackers, designers and creative types can submit their ideas, the winners bagging funding, support and kit to make them happen. Once the ideas are reality, they’ll be put on show in Nokia Flagship stores around the world.
Unveiled at the weekend were four very cool, albeit wacky uses for an N900. Like using a sledgehammer for a pin, they pretty much all provided an over engineered solution for problems that didn’t really exist. But that wasn’t the point. 80s gadgets were the inspiration and starting with a Speak and Spell, and some Arduino circuitry, the team managed to use the eighties toy to send a text message to a member of the gathered throng (using the N900, of course). Next up a Rolodex which identified a contact’s details and pulled them up on the N900, along with a View-Master which was used, together with the phone’s camera, to create 3D images. Oh, and that’s not to forget the radio hack which helped the device identify music from the 80s.
We talked a little about open source hardware last week, following our visit to the open source talk at onedotzero. PUSH N900 takes that whole ideal on a stage further and I think we’re going to see an array of very cool ideas come to life over the coming months. It’s one thing the N900 being a Linux-based device. It’s a whole other issue when we discover what that might actually mean. Excited? You bet!