Corporate Badgelife: Oracle’s Code Card

We tend to think of elaborate electronic conference badges as something limited to the hacker scene, but it looks like the badgelife movement is starting to hit the big time. Now even the “big boys” are getting into the act, and pretty soon you won’t be able to go to a stuffy professional conference without seeing a sea of RGB LEDs firing off. We’ll let the good readers of Hackaday determine if this means it’s officially post-cool or not.

[Noel Portugal] writes in to tell us about how he created the “Code Card” during his tenure with the Oracle Groundbreakers Team. Featuring an ESP8266 and an e-ink screen, the Code Card serves not only as swanky way of identifying yourself, but as a real-world demonstration of physical devices pulling content from Oracle’s Cloud. Gotta keep those corporate overlords happy.

The Code Card is a fairly simple piece of hardware as far as badges go these days, but then the goal was never to be flashy. It does feature dual four-pin Grove System connectors on the backside though, so you can plug in additional sensors and gadgets for the customary badge hacking sessions.

To maximize runtime on the rechargeable coin cell battery, the Code Card only turns on the ESP after the user has pressed one of the buttons on the front. Once the ESP has finished performing whatever task the user requested, its powered back off completely rather than put into standby. Combined with the e-ink screen, power consumption while the device isn’t actively updating the display or pulling down new content is negligible.

[Noel] really went all-out on the software side, going as far as developing a web application which let conference attendees configure their Code Cards from their smartphones. Different functions could be assigned to short and long presses on the badge’s two buttons, and users could even select icons for the various functions from a list of images included in the firmware. A feature where attendees could upload their own images didn’t make the cut, but that surely won’t stop people from hacking around in the published Arduino source code and figuring out how to do it manually.

If you think the Code Card looks a bit familiar, it’s perhaps because it was designed in conjunction with Squarofumi, creators of the Badgy. So even if you aren’t hitting up any of Oracle’s upcoming conferences, you’re not completely out of luck if you want an e-ink badge to play with.

30 thoughts on “Corporate Badgelife: Oracle’s Code Card

    1. That being said, if you ever happen to work for a company that already uses Oracle and wants to send you to a conference, go!

      The schwag is good, the food is good, the after parties have free booze, the hotels are good, and it’s usually some place like Chicago or San Francisco.

  1. Soon those loitering around conferences can literally pick up tech components whether they need them in any technical pursuit or not. I like the e-ink display, musing on smaller form factors which may well suit the Amazon’s of the start of their Brave New World – Aldous Huxley type paradigm, LSD optional and with Chinese permutations hundreds of variations already at the ready…
    Thanks for post, good to see corporates adding their $2 worth adding even more disposable tech to the mix.

    1. And like nearly all IoT devices, this thing is functionally equivalent to a much simpler, cheaper, user-intuitive and more environmentally-friendly object, plus lots of bells and whistles of dubious utility. Is this thing really any improvement on a name tag and a marker? The IoT buzzword is being forced into the market as hard as possible yet we don’t see many actual delivered examples of advantages over ordinary things, save for adtech data-scraping. Which is of course the true purpose and why we will all have these devices shoved down our throats eventually regardless of what we want.

    1. Don’t forget the consulting fee. You’ll have to pony up for the marketing guys to fly out and tell you how they’ve got a badge powered by an ATTiny85 that can mine BTC at 1100Gh/s.

    1. As a beginner, the SuperCon badge is what convinced me to go this year. I figure a lot if it will be over my head, but, I can take what I learn, the badge, and with some searching, learn a ton about hardware and programming I wouldn’t have otherwise. I think the badge should never be the best thing about going to a conference, but I love the creativity and love that went into making them.

    2. Yep, you’re the only one.

      As a beginner, having hardware that I can use to try the things I learn at the conference is a huge bonus. Not to mention the badges by AND!XOR are works of art.

      I’ve seen a few other posts like this, and there is no point. Do you really think people just get home and throw these away?

  2. It is a matter of time until the first malicious code hiding in conference badges targeting hacker’s mobile devices and computers. Connecting pieces of hardware from unknown source to your devices is not good security practice.

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