We’re huge fans of [Neal Stephenson’s] work and are usually looking to assign some of his vision to the gear that pops up in the real world. But there’s no stretching or squinting necessary with this one. [Kerry Scharfglass] has built a functioning Drummer’s Badge from the foundational Sci-Fi novel The Diamond Age.
The badge is called Sympetrum, which is a genus of dragonfly. In explaining what the badge is and does, [Kerry] instructs you to go and read the book first and we couldn’t agree more. This isn’t recommended reading; if you’re a geek you need to read this book.
The dragonfly badges are from a portion of the book that gets pretty weird, but the gist is that rod-logic (machines build from microscopic carbon nanotubes) is so pervasive that at all times you’re covered in mites that are actually machines. At a party, one of the characters notices everyone is wearing dragonfly pins that begin to pulse with the music and synchronize with each other. They’re actually indicators of what the mites within the wearers’ bodies are doing — synchronizing people with other people.
This badge is a working recreation of that, presumably without the billions of mites controlling people (but who knows, it is DEF CON). At the center of the badge is an STM32 driving ten APA102 modules. Interactivity is based on IR signaling. The badge will cycle random color animations when alone. But each badge also projects clock sync and metadata over infrared, so put some of them in the same room and they’ll tend to synchronize.
Simple, beautiful, and a great geeky backstory. This example of Badgelife proves that hardware badges don’t need to be packed with features, or have a huge BOM cost. If done well, you can do an awful lot with just a little hardware and strong dose of inspiration. It also makes hand-assembly a lot more approachable, which is what you can see in the images above. Thanks [Kerry] for giving us an early look at this badge, can’t wait to see them at the CON.
We’ll be looking for this and all other #Badgelife offerings at DEF CON 25. Join us for a Hackaday meetup on Sunday morning as we once again do Breakfast at DEF CON
12 thoughts on “Badge From Diamond Age Comes To DEF CON”
It seems as though the packing of these boards could have been more effective and reduced the over all need for materials.
I at least don’t see why they couldn’t have stacked them better, it seems like a waste, especially on such a simple board.
I Imagine there was some benefit in the pick-place process that caused the builders to choose this admittedly inefficient design.
Ha. In this case it was because I asked the fab house to panelize them for me in a 1×3 and was guessing that 3 would fit in my reflow over. I was about 0.25″ wrong. If I do another run I’ll tesselate them myself to avoid the waste.
NEAL its NEAL not Neil
Ah, so it is. Fixed.
Is it “that party ” that I still remember from reading the book at Young age? The one where a lot of pulsing of a different kind was happening? :-)
Great book either way. Most of his books are.
No, this is a party back in civilization when Miranda is searching for her ward, and not the super weird drummer collective ritual that unwillingly sprung to your mind.
Can anyone please comment of more geeky novels to read?
I’ve recently read Waldo & Magic Inc… which IIRC was also mentioned here at HAD…
Any other suggestions of good books?
I need a handful of these. They are awesome. I have never known exactly how newb I was until this moment that I looked upon that github and realized I can’t begin to understand how to make my own. But I might try…
Please ask! I’d love to help someone else make some :)
Please ask! I’d love to help someone make some. :)
So, I look at the gerbers and what isn’t clear to me is your intended method of powering this badge. It’s not an SAO.
is it supposed to have a small Lipo stuck on the back?
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