Part of Nokia's challenge to cement the N900 and Maemo is in drawing developers to the open-source platform, and to do that they've kicked off PUSH N900, a "unique design, hacking and modding project". To mark the event - which will see winning proposals rewarded with an N900, funding and support to deliver on their idea - the Finns commissioned four sample projects, inspired by the '80s and using the N900 in distinctive ways. These ended up including a 3D ViewMaster camera, digital Rolodex, 80's radio tagger/Last.fm integration, and a Speak and Spell mashup.
All of the projects were the handiwork of Tinker.it and Hyper. The ViewMaster mod uses the N900 to take 3D photos, while the Speak and Spell hack used the distinctive child's toy as a keyboard for text messaging. Meanwhile the FM radio hack could identify a song from the radio - as long as it was from the 80s - and then deliver artist, album and track information from Last.fm.
Finally, and something we'd like on our desk, a Rolodex was hooked up to the N900 and used to manually spin through entries in the smartphone's address book. Submissions for Nokia PUSH N900 will be accepted up until October 5th - video, written or visual proposals are allowed - and winners announced on October 25th.