DEF CON kicks off this week, and the badge life is stronger than ever this year. If it can be soldered onto a PCB, you can bet someone has built a badge with it. While most people are going to be competing to see who can build the most elaborate and most blinky badges, you might want to take a more subtle approach, like with this ESP8266-powered Badgy badge.
If you’re not familiar with the culture of hacker conference badges, the basic gist is to build an overly-complex electronic badge to replace a boring paper one. Over the years, the tradition has evolved into a hacking challenge in it’s own right, with some badges that are capable hacking tools on their own, and some that are designed to be hacked. And, of course, some that just light up and look cool. Badgy is a little bit different, and it seems to be aiming for simplicity and versatility.
The majority of the badge’s surface area is covered in a 2.9" 296x128 pixel E Ink display. The only other feature on the front is a 5-way (directional + press) tactile switch. The back has rechargeable coin cell battery holder, and the entire thing is powered by everyone’s favorite WiFi microcontroller: an ESP8266. Aside from displaying your name and badge number, you can also use it as a Spotify remote, a weather display, or for notifications. DEF CON starts in just a couple of days, so you probably can’t get one before then, but you can always use Badgy for other conferences!