Talk announcement: The SHA2017 badge (The badge is a go!)

May 8th 2017

We have two announcements: the SHA badge will go into production, and the Badge team will give a talk about developing this conference badge.

SHA2017 badge

We are proud to announce that the Badge project for SHA2017 will enter production in the coming weeks. We will be producing a large number of badges, but they are limited. If you want to be sure you'll get one: order your SHA2017 ticket now!

With this badge, we strive to achieve several firsts: the first badge for a Dutch hacker camp, one of the first badge featuring the ESP32, one of the first badges designed for use in bright sunlight, and the first badge to use a wireless distribution technique that won't upset the network admins!

When we first set out to design the badge all the way back in 2015, we set a few critical design goals:

  • grayscaleFirst of all, It should be a badge you can use to introduce yourself to others
  • The display should be readable in sunlight
  • The badge should provide info on the SHA2017 conference
  • It should have at least a full day of battery life
  • The badges should not destroy the 2.4ghz WiFi infrastructure, but still be 'connected' to the event -  2.4GHz is a pain at events already, we don't want to add the load of thousands of continuously associated badges to that
  • The badge should be fully open-source: both hardware and software
  • It should be operational and handed out on day 1 of the camp

So, let's have a look at our badge prototype. The ESP32, courteously provided by Espressif, is at the heart of our design. Featuring a brand new distribution technique designed by Sprite_TM, we can update badges without associating to the WiFi access points. Together with microPython and our own 'app library', this badge will pack a punch for everyone looking forward to hacking together a bit of software.


If the ESP32 is the heart of the badge, the beautiful E-Ink display is definitely its soul. At 296x128 pixels, it will be easily readable at moderate distances and, a first, readable in sunlight! Officially it's a 1-bitmonochrome display, so black and white only, but our team already has a greyscale hack working which uses the nature of e-ink to our advantage.

Screen and leds

To keep the badge a single-sided design we decided on capacitive touch for the controls, laid out in a classic game controller style. On board you'll find plenty of GPIO broken out, a USB-Serial IC for flashing, as well as a nicely sized battery and charging circuits. You will also be given six addressable RGBW LEDs to solder onto the front of the badge for more blinkiness!

We are still looking for a few more sponsors for the badge. If you or your company would like to help out, please contact us.


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