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In the summer of 2017, it felt like everybody else than me was going to a hacker conference, I was a bit envious of some of the nice badges that some of my friends had gotten. So I decided to make my own badge. I was going to a convention for Japanese popular culture, that has absolutely nothing to do with technology, but I thought, what the hell, why not :3
I had about 3 evenings to do it, and access to a decent laser cutter, so I decided to keep it as simple as possible. I had seen a guy that had managed to get an ESP8266 to display short animations at a decent frame rate. He was super awesome and shared his code with me.
Based on the logo for that years convention I designed a simple enclosure that could be cut on the laser. I managed to fit an ESP8266, a LCD display, battery, power management, charging circuit, a power switch and a button without the badge getting too thick.
I wanted to be able to change between still images and a couple of short animations stored on the internal storage of the ESP8266. Unfortunately I didn’t get all that to work before the convention, so I just programmed it to toggle between a couple of pictures, by pressing the button.
For some extra fun, I added a picture saying “VIP badge” and one saying “Press badge”, and tried to make both blend in with the overall design of the badge.
This was a fun small project that really showed me what I was capable of making, within an ultra short deadline. Lets see what strange badges the future will bring :3