This year, they went high tech, ICs, LEDs, and a logo cut right out of the PCB.
The badges were done by Joe Grand of Grand Idea Studio, pictured above. They built 6055 of them at a cost of under $5 per badge, with a design goal of being a true bitch to counterfeit as well as have a battery that lasts at least as long as Defcon itself. Needless to say, they succeeded.
[image_library_tag 5198, alt='Press badge, front and back',default]
The badges themselves are a Microchip PIC10F202, two blue LEDs, a battery, switch and a few resistors. The most obvious thing is the coloured solder mask, there are seven variants, each demptomg your access. There are 5185 white ones for humans, 250 red ones for goons, 200 green for press, 200 blue for speakers, 100 purple for vendors, 100 black for VIP, and 20 gold for Joe and his friends. Collect them all.
The physical building of the badges was also fraught with problems. Parts that took three weeks to come on paper took six, a shipment of 12,000 LEDs showed up as 500, and other parts went to the wrong address. In the end, it all worked out, and the badges were at the show at the time needed.
Last up, they presented an opportunity. If you look at the back of the badge, just above the chip itself, you will see five solder points. These are for programming the badge, the central theme of the contest surrounding them.
The contest is for the coolest hack to the badge, and open ended concept that is sure to have at least an few wild things done, Joe Grand had one himself, the squirting flower. No, not a new porn term, he rigged it up to squirt water at anyone looking at it. µ
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