Phage 2015

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Note to reader: this is a preview of a page that will be embedded in a Crowd Supply pre-order site, this is not the actual order site. You probably got linked to this by bunnie to collect feedback on the badge concept and pre-order site design. Thanks for your feedback!

the_institute_badge_front_sm.jpg [hires]

Attention Institute campers! This year, I'm making an Institute-wide blinky badge, fashioned in our theme camp logo. And this year, I'm pulling out all the stops.

Like previous years, this badge has blinky lights. And it has a radio, so you can page your friends.

Unlike previous years' badges, this one has an integral battery pack, lights, OLED display, interactive captouch buttons, and you can see nearby friend's names.

And unlike previous years, I'm going to finish badge production well before Burning Man, so you'll receive your badge in the mail in early August, which is why I need your help to pre-order a badge now.

The price is $69, and includes free shipping to the US. Pre-orders close on June 19th, and pre-order production is capped at 85 units, so get your order in soon! Because production is capped, please do /not/ share this link outside the Institute. I have no way of screening buyers; anyone who has this URL can purchase a badge. So do you and your camp-mates a favor -- keep this pre-order page a secret!

Key features of this year's badge

  • Integral LED ring So you don't /have/ to solder on an LED strip (but the option is still available if you really want to be the brightest object in the deep playa).
  • Interactive captouch surface Play with your lights! You can dim them! You can spin them!


  • Safety third. the integral battery pack means the badge can be very smart about power management. You can tell it how long you plan to party for, and it will dim the light display automatically to stretch runtime, so you won't be a darkwad on the deep playa at 5AM.
  • OLED display for improved UI features, such as...
  • Improved campmate awareness instead of a radio that just blinks a light if someone pages you, this year's badge transmits your name to your nearest friends. You can view a list of recently seen names. And, if you're trying to get attention, hitting the page button will cause everyone's lights to blink and your name will flash across their screen.
  • (Even more) sex from your initial set of light patterns, you can breed new blinky light patterns with your friends by having blinky sex. Blinky sex causes an exchange of blinky light characteristics that are encoded in a virtual blinky genome. Collect 'em all!
  • Useful in the default world the badge's integral battery can be used to charge your smart phone, so you don't have to landfill your badge after the Burn!

the_institute_badge_back_sm.jpg [hires]

This new, very feature-packed badge is a huge undertaking and as such me and xobs got an extra-early start on it (some of you might know xobs, he is my collaborator on Novena and an embedded code maestro). The demo you see here in this campaign is our first version of the badge. It's almost right, but a few tweaks will be made:

  • The OLED screen will be white, not yellow and blue
  • The battery protector won't be 3D printed, it will be made out of casted ABS.
  • The extra LED strip adapter will be in a more convenient location
  • The firmware will have loads of new features added, and hopefully not too many new bugs
  • The "enter" button circle on the front will be a phage logo

All these new features does mean the badge is more expensive than previous years (the 2013 phage badge was $40), but hopefully the integral battery pack and the extra features make it worth the extra money.

See you in the dust!

-bunnie the blinkypusher