Becoming A Zombie With The Hackable Electronic Badge

Last week, Parallax released an open hackable electronic badge that will eventually be used at dozens of conferences. It’s a great idea that allows badge hacks developed during one conference to be used at a later conference.

[Mark] was at the Hackable Electronics Badge premier at the 2015 Open Hardware Summit last weekend, and he just finished up the first interactive hack for this badge. It’s the zombie apocalypse in badge form, pitting humans and zombies against each other at your next con.

The zombie survival game works with the IR transmitter and receiver on the badge normally used to exchange contact information. Upon receiving the badge, the user chooses to be either a zombie or survivor. Pressing the resistive buttons attacks, heals, or infects others over IR. The game is your standard zombie apocalypse affair: zombies infect survivors, survivors attack zombies and heal the infected, and the infected turn into zombies.

Yes, a zombie apocalypse is a simple game for a wearable with IR communications, but for the Hackable Electronics Badge, it’s a great development. There will eventually be tens of thousands of these badges floating around at cons, and having this game available on day-one of a conference will make for a lot of fun.

10 thoughts on “Becoming A Zombie With The Hackable Electronic Badge

  1. I can see some potential for using the game with a few modifications to actually model the spread of a Zombie Outbreak. If a “Patient Zero” Badge is randomly issued and all others start “clean” and without the “heal” facility then anyone spending more than a few seconds in close proximity Patient Zero becomes infected and can then infect other badges. If this was monitored centrally it could give a model of the spread of an Outbreak!

  2. Love the idea!

    Something similar to this was done for the DEFCON 20 badges, where the Goons (Con Volunteers), had badges that could transmit a ‘virus’ to other badges, which could spread from point to point. It added a cool meta sort of dynamic when you started talking to other people, because the LEDs on infected badges blinked funky.

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