Skip to main content
September 21, 2009

Tinkering with the future

N900-speak-and-spellGLOBAL – If you’ve been wondering just how you can get your N900 to interact with a Speak ‘N’ Spell, View-Master or a rolodex, then fear not, as the folks at have released some more details on how they did it. Okay, so you’ll be short of an Nokia N900 until they actually go on sale (soon, we’re told) but at least you can start assembling the required parts in time for your very own hackathon.

First up, you’ll need to grab yourself an eighties legend. It shouldn’t take too much to grab an old Speak ‘N’ Spell from auction sites such as eBay for not much money – we found one for less than £5. Then you’ll need some open source hardware in the form of an Arduino. After that, things get a whole lot more complicated, and we might recommend you get yourself a background in programming before proceeding any further. As such, I’ll let the folks explain what each hack is, and how it works.

No, we weren’t really suggesting you take your new N900 and start sticking it into 80s throwbacks. We just wanted to highlight again the clever stuff that was thought up as part of the PUSH N900 competition recently. When we first wrote about, information on how it all worked was thin on the ground. Now the folks have revealed all, it starts to open your mind as to the actual possibility of what could be done with an N900 – it does actually look limitless.

When we were at Nokia World we spent some time with the guys behind the Ovi SDK. The Software Development Kit is designed to open up the various Ovi services to application developers. Combining those services, with new applications, and devices such as the N900, means the future is unbelievably hard to predict. That might sound like a pointless statement, but the resulting applications we’re going to see, as a result of open services and products coming together, will take us down new and exciting avenues. Did anyone see Sports Tracker coming? Or what kind of success it would be?

So, if you could take a service, and a hugely capable device, what kind of app do you think you would like.