Fak'ugesi 2017 festival passes

SiGNL was tasked with creating the annual Fak'ugesi African Digital Innovation festival passes. This was our creative technologist, Tom van den Bon's second consecutive year designing the pass for this festival (see video for the scoop on the 2016 badge). 

The festival pass was created around the festival's theme, Brave Tech Hearts Beat as One. It consists of a heart-shaped PCB (Printed Circuit Board) with LEDs that display in various patterns. It also has an expansion port for creating modifications and for using the pass in other projects.

In collaboration with IBM Research Africa lab in Johannesburg, we also developed a 'shield' for the pass where a certain amount of people could be tracked in terms of their interaction with other people and specific locations. This forms part of a research study currently being conducted at the research lab. 

Workshops were also held during the festival around 'modding' (modifying) and improving the pass. As a bonus we have also incorporated various "easter eggs" into the festival pass.

We also created the Fak'ugesi bot on Telegram  for easy and on-the-go access to event information.

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Technical Details

The pass consists of mostly surface-mount components that were places with a pick and place assembly. The battery packs are through hole to allow the festival attendee to assemble it at one of the 'Festival Pass' workshops.

The pass was designed around the STM32F042 micro-controller. It has a couple of LEDs on-board and a header with extra GPIO for extensions like the 'IBM Shield'. The board has a USB based hardware Bootloader that allows anyone to write their own programs for it.

Schematics, code and information can be found here.

In total, 2,000 festival passes were made. 1,000 were assembled and another 1,000 were left un-assembled for those who just wanted the empty pass PCB.