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An open source badge project for noobs, artists, and the interdimensionally-curious
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An open source badge project for noobs, artists, and the interdimensionally-curious

  1. Project Goals
  2. BOM
  3. Design
  4. Inspiration
  5. Team
  6. Thanks

Project Goals

We are artists following in the footsteps of the DEFCON Badgelife scene. Badgelifers create custom electronic devices to replace the ho-hum badges that display your name and affiliation at conferences. These badges feature playable video games, animated LED displays, wifi connectivity, and more! But what would happen if we released a simple badge template that non-engineers could program and expand upon themselves? Let's find out.


After much experimentation, we've settled on this board. It includes the following features in one tidy package:

  1. Wifi/bluetooth (via ESP32, the recent update to the ESP8266)
  2. LIPO battery clip/recharging circuit
  3. Arduino IDE compatibility
  4. OLED screen


After flirting with building a project from scratch, we've brought the process back down to earth. Right now the plan is to focus on a cool little breakout for an existing ESP PCB (see BOM) that will allow for the addition of sensors etc. in the form of pluggable modules. The form-factor could even take the shape of a robot or action figure! Once we release the platform specs, other developers could develop their own modules to extend the project's ecosystem. Ideas include:

  1. Co-planar PCB connectors (image)
  2. Hemaphroditic connectors (image)
  3. 5-way tac switch


  1. P-O-X (thanks Paul!)


Nick Bontrager, Texas Christian University
Taylor Hokanson, Columbia College Chicago

...and you? Please get in touch!


Supported in part by a generous Faculty Development Grant from Columbia College Chicago

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