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Hackpack v4 Firmware

What is Hackpack?

Hackpack v4 is a limited-run hardware device distributed at SIGNAL 2018 - Twilio's Customer & Developer conference. Hackpack is your 8-bit companion through the conference, letting you interact with the environment, build an avatar, level up and earn coins.

But Technically What is it?

At it's heart, Hackpack v4 is a Raspberry Pi Zero W equipped with a color TFT screen, a joystick, six game buttons, and a 5-NeoPixel LED bar. It boots into a custom browser view that gives any website it loads access to the joystick, game buttons, and control of the lights on the LED bar.


Hackpack v4 Firmware manages system-level components for the Hackpack v4 hardware drivers that manage the onboard screen, LEDs, and gamepad.


Boot up a Raspberry Pi with Raspbian

To get started, you'll need to set up a standard Raspberry Pi with the current Raspian image. Hackpack v4 requires Raspbian rather than Raspian Lite, due to depending on the Raspbian desktop window manager for its 8-bit glory.

You can get the image files at the Raspberry Pi foundation's website:

Get the codebase

To get started, clone this repo into /home/pi/firmware. The codebase depends on being installed at /home/pi/firmware currently.

Once cloned locally, run:

sudo bash /home/pi/firmware/bin/

This master install script, in turn, runs the install scripts for each system component - drivers, and kiosk.



Onboard Screen

Your Hackpack v4 is equipped with a capacitive-touch screen, which duplicates the video output that can also be displayed normally via the HDMI output of the Raspberry Pi.

Onboard LEDs

What Hackpack would be complete without NeoPixels? Your Hackpack v4 sports 5 RGB NeoPixels, with a custom-built unix socket that lets you control light patterns from

Onboard Gamepad

The /drivers directory contains all functionality that drives the custom inputs on the device - namely the joystick and control buttons.

System Control

Command-Line Interface

hackpack kiosk start - starts the kiosk webview hackpack kiosk stop - stops the kiosk webview

hackpack lights led_scanner - play the led scanner light pattern