There are lots of gizmos on the market -- gizmos designed to meet the needs of nearly every consumer. And yet, a handful of consumers are never satisfied. They take matters into their own hands, poking, prodding, and modding until they get what they want, just as they've done for millennia. Now, one clever hacker has set his sights on a Nook Color from Barnes & Noble, and the results are pretty impressive.
The nifty thing about the Nook line is that it's built on Android -- an operating system that's far more open and flexible (and accessible) than, say, iOS found on the iPad. That means that with a little knowledge of the system, users can unlock more of the Nook Color's capabilities, many of which lie dormant.
In the video below, you'll see that YouTube user juicedigital has modded the Nook to run Android apps. He then found a mount for the device, slapped over his existing car stereo, and voila: he's got a snazzy new interface for music and more.
According to a write-up at Cnet, other hackers found a way to activate an unused Bluetooth module in the Nook Color. That's exciting for developers, and even more exciting for Nook owners, whose own tablets could have that feature activated with a future firmware update. (Whether they'll be able to get their own Bluetooth devices to pair with anything, however, is a different story.)
Here's a clip of the hacked Nook in action. It's able to run an array of Android apps, and since the modder has tethered the Nook to his smartphone, he's got web access on it, too. It's a very intriguing development, but perhaps not the safest thing to run in a car. Ray LaHood's going to have a cow.