For 2018 we wanted to improve and streamline the ideas from our past badge. This year we are bringing you an all new streamlined PCB with more lights, more keys, and more features.
Our badge contains a 4x4 grid of Gateron Blue mechanical switches, with custom 3D printed transparant keycaps. Under each key is a RGB led which shines through the keyswitch to illuminate the transparent keycap. We are using this as a 16 square pixel RGB display.
By pressing the keys on the badge you will be able to switch through different visual presets, and interact with certian patterns. For example in one mode you could "Draw" your own light patterin onto the key display, or in another mode you could change the speed or color of the animation playing on the key-display.
Our badge this year will have an optional microphone module that you can install to have sound reactive visualizations.
We are using a ESP32 Microcontroller with integrated 802.11 and BTLE for badge to badge communication
The DCZia badges have been based on the evolution of ideas from year to year. Our first badge was a Raspberry Pi with a display shield, and then we then moved to an Arduino powered device with a badge "sheild" that plugged into it. Finally this year we are going to a full custom PCB with all components integrated into it.
"When desiging this badge I really wanted to have something tactile that you can interact with. Blinking lights are cool, but I wanted there to be a physical element to the badge that would force people to intereact with it. I'v been a big fan of building and customizing mechanical keyboards so I wanted to incorperate that into our badge. Thus came the idea to use RGB Backlit keys as a display that you can interact with." --Lithochasm