We stopped by the Nokia booth at CTIA and we caught a glimpse of the winners of Nokia’s PUSH contest. The contest was for hackers to do as they pleased with Maemo, the open source software running on the N900, and show off their stuff. The winner and the runner-ups were very impressive: bikes, race cars and robots! Of all the hackers that entered, who took the top three spots and what did they do with the Nokia N900? See below to find out!
One of the runner-ups was Command Niko. It’s a little robot hooked up to the N900 that moves and takes commands via Twitter. It’s pretty cool seeing the robots move around on a table knowing that they’re being instructed to do so from Twitter land. In order to get the robot to move, turn or use the N900 to snap pics or take video, all you have to do is send an “at reply” to the robot’s Twitter account.
Pretty neat, eh? And if the robot hits a wall in any direction, the bumpers will keep it from any damage and also instruct it to move the other way. We did wonder how the robot manages to handle the dozens, or possibly even hundreds of Twitter commands. We were told that the robot takes a bunch of those commands and puts them in a queue. It sounds like it might as well be moving arbitrarily, but we were also told that Twitter users were able to work together in making these robots take pictures of each other. Nice!
The next runner up makes us feel a little nostalgic. Remember those race tracks that you had to snap together and the race cars on it were controlled with a wired controller? One hacker decided to use the N900 coupled with Bluetooth to make the race cars go. For a brief moment there, we felt like kids in the 80s again, fighting with our siblings for who would go next.
And here we finally have the winner. One brilliant hacker decided to rig a bicycle to use the N900 as a speedometer and also to use map information to plan routes. It also had controls rigged up to lights and a horn, you know, for safety. Couple that with a GPS and we can see why this hacker took the cake.
Your land speed is determined by the speed of the rear wheel, which had something attached to a spoke, presumably a magnet of some kind, that passes a sensor to determine just how fast you’re going.
The phone was mounted up on the handle bars and displayed all the information you’d need short of a Twitter feed while riding your bike. Speed, miles covered, location and buttons for the horn and lights were all easily accessible. The setup looked simple enough, but it was really cool and we’re now wishing that all bikes had a gadget like this. Wouldn’t that make your joy ride or commute much more fun? We think it would. Check out the gallery below for a few more snapshots of the winning hackers’ creations.