DC26: overview of the DC503 party badge

From Nisha Kumar:
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An overview of the DC503 party badge as seen at DefCon 2018

Hi! My name is Nisha, and I made a party bangle for my friend, Miki, to take with her to DefCon25. It was my first fully-formed electronics project and it posed some interesting challenges due to its unusual form factor. You can read about my experiences with that project here.

Soon after DefCon25, I was approached by r00tkillah to make over a 100 of something similar for the DC503 party at DefCon26. The plan was to combine the power of the BMD-300 SoC by Rigado used in the Wagon Badge from the previous year with my Neopixel bangle form factor. We would call it “The Banglet” and it was going to be awesome.

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In passive mode, the banglet’s LEDs light up when detecting nearby Bluetooth devices. The number of LEDs that are lit correspond to the number of BT devices detected and their colors are based on each device’s mac address.

DC26: overview of the DC503 party badge

Secrets of Making a Successful Product on Tindie

From  on the Tindie blog:

Secrets of Making a Successful Product on Tindie

Tindie has been a favorite platform for creative makers for quite some time now. Hundreds of thousands of hardware craftsmen, hackers, and enthusiasts gather here, share their ideas and create a lot of amazing products.

Three years ago Tindie published an article that used the tools of data science to look at what makes a product successful. It’s been a very popular article, providing insight to the inventors who build their communities of customers through Tindie. With so many new products and sellers since the previous article, we were inspired to dig into the numbers once again to determine if the criteria for selling a successful product on Tindie has changed over the years.

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Secrets of Making a Successful Product on Tindie

Snowy Owl PCB artwork

A purple snowy owl with customizable name and short message from NWMaker on Tindie:

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Snowy Owl

Look at it. This snowy owl is so cute. You can choose add custom text or not.

When you choose the option of custom text, you can customize the snowy owl as follows.

  • Add a name or nick name (less than 16 letters) like “Mary” or “James”
  • Add a short message (less than 18 letters) such as “Happy Birthday!” or “Merry Christmas!”

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Owl is amazing. It has super eyesight at night. Its feather structure makes its flight silent. It can turn around its head backwards.

I’d like something to be associated with “snow” and “north”. That is why I think of the snowy owl.

Snowy Owl PCB artwork

Badgelife, The Hardware Demoscene

Last week, tens of thousands of people headed home from Vegas, fresh out of this year’s DEF CON. This was a great year for DEF CON, especially when it comes to hardware. This was the year independent badges took over, thanks to a small community of people dedicated to creating small-run hardware, puzzles, and PCB art for thousands of conference-goers. This is badgelife, a demoscene of hardware, and this is just the beginning. It’s only going to get bigger from here on out.

Screenshot from 2018-08-20 15-45-48

 

We were lucky enough to sit down with a few of the creators behind the badges of this year’s DEF CON and the interviews were fantastic. Right here is a lesson on electronic design, manufacturing, and logistics. If you’ve ever wanted to be an engineer that ships a product instead of a lowly maker that ships a product, this is the greatest classroom in the world.

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Although badgelife may seem like a bunch of hardware engineers sitting behind a pick and place machine for a weekend’s worth of lulz, this is a masterclass of product design and manufacturing. Badgelife is product development, and unlike many other hardware design jobs, the ship date will not slip for any reason. The hardware must be done on time, and if you’re not shipping all the features you promised everyone will be upset. Badgelife is the best experience you’ll ever get in engineering for production, product design, and manufacturing.

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