The second day of the OneDotZero experience started again with a nice chat during the breakfast, this time without devices :). Was very nice to hear the ideas of my colleagues bloggers about the current state of the mobile devices market and the prosper future of this area. We talked mostly about the new N900, making comparisons with other platforms and discussing our impressions as end users of the new Maemo OS. I think in general everybody was impressed with the device.
PUSH N900 workshop
At the afternoon Robbie and Adam picked us at the hotel and we headed to the BFI to attend a series of workshops around the Maemo platform.
The first presenter was Stuart Wells from Nokia that did a nice introduction of the N900 and the Maemo 5 OS, once again the new Maemo 5 shined in the big screen 😉
After this nice introduction, Gary (lcuk) jumped again into the stage for a brief introduction about the OneDotZero installation and his famous liqbase application.
Hacker call, the PUSH N900 contest was presented!
Tom Johnson from Hyper did a short introduction about the PUSH N900 competition, where everybody can participate, no need to be a coder/hacker. If you have some good ideas, go now to the PUSH N900 website and submit them, you will not regret for sure 😉
In order to whet the appetite of the audience, an incredible team of hackers from Tinker.it presented some cool hacks did in the last three weeks using some N900 devices and some Arduino boards.
Inspired with the 80’s they presented the four hacks bellow, actually using ‘gadgets’ from the 80’s along with a high end device.
Talk & Text
A Nokia N900 and an Arduino are hidden inside this old Speak & Spell. When you press a key, the Arduino detects which key you have pressed and sends that information over Bluetooth to the N900. A python script receives the information from the Arduino and uses pygame, to display images on the n900 screen that mimic the original Speak & Spell display. The voice synthesis is also generated on the phone, using festival, and open source text-to-speach engine.
“An Arduino connected to the Rolodex© detects the position of the wheel and sends that information over Bluetooth to the N900. Each position indicates a specific contact. A Python script receives the incoming information and uses the xtst library to emulate the key presses and screen touches that would be necessary to view that contact and, when you touch the screen of the phone, to place a call.”
“The N900’s Maemo platform uses the D-Bus messaging service to allow different applications to send message and alerts to each other. When you send a text to this phone, it transmits the contents of your message over D-Bus to a Python script. The Python script then uses pylast (a library for communicating with last.fm) to send the artist’s name to last.fm and receive the mp3 files and cover art generated for that artist. The script then controls the screen display and music playback using GStreamer (a library for controlling media playback that is included in Maemo 5.0) and the pygame (an open-source python wrapper for controlling visuals).
Playback to the radio is controlled by the N900’s built-in FM transmitter. The transmitter can be set to broadcast at any frequency, an the phone’s audio will be picked up by any nearby radio set to the right station.”
“A Nokia N900 is sitting inside the Viewmaster®. When you move the Viewmaster® to the left or to the right, you trigger a switch. An Arduino then sends a message over Bluetooth to the N900. A Python script receives that message and, using GStreamer (a library for controlling media playback that is included in Maemo 5.0), saves a frame from the camera as a JPEG. When two photos have been taken, numerical (a python library for manipulating arrays) is used to transform the size and color of the images, and pygame (an open-source python wrapper for controlling visuals,) is used to control the screen display.
Any 3D image actually needs two images. The two photos are taken several centimeters apart–about the distance between your two eyes. When you look into the Viewmaster, each eye is isolated to see only the photograph of what would be seen by that eye, and your brain resolves the two images into one 3D image. On the larger screen, the two images are colored red and blue and superimposed. The red and blue lenses of your glasses each cause one image to disappear, so each eye again sees a slightly different image, and your brain translates them into 3D.”
Quoted text and more information about this hacks can be found at the Tinker.it website.
Many thanks to the WOM World/Nokia crew (Donna, Robbie and Adam) for inviting me and for the very cool weekend at London.