With FutureStack14 now less than a month away, we’re just about ready to put the finishing touches on our electronic conference badges. So I thought it’d be fun to give everyone sneak peek at the new-and-improved design we have in store. We’ll be continuing our tradition of pushing technology boundaries, starting with a complete redesign from the circuit board up. But before I get into the specifics, let’s first take a quick look back at what we did last year for those who aren’t familiar.
We kicked off New Relic’s FutureStack 13 conference by introducing a new way of meeting and getting to know each other. Instead of providing the standard paper or plastic conference badge, attendees received a small, badge-shaped computer complete with Wi-Fi and NFC. This allowed people to simply tap their badges together and effortlessly exchange contact information.
The response was nothing short of overwhelming. People were eager to get in on the “badge bump” action and it was clear the conference exuded a new form of excitement. Missing were those hiding in the corners buried in their laptops or phones. The badges even got a bit of press, like this excellent Wired article.
Nevertheless, we’ve sought to push further into the future and improve on our success. While the badges last year were modeled after an actual badge, many felt it was a little too big and the corners were too square. Taking that feedback into account, we’ve made a number of tweaks to the badge this year, including:
- A smaller overall size
- Rounded corners for a more pleasant package
- A completely redesigned, more efficient power system rechargeable via USB
At a higher level, we’ve improved some of the cumbersome features of last year’s badge, allowing you to:
- Vote right from your badge (no need to wait in line to tag a poster)
- Set up your badge in a much smoother and simpler process
- Stack up points (and enter in the running for a special prize) by finding hidden Easter eggs throughout the conference
Last but certainly not least, this year’s badges are designed to be extendable and hackable right from the start. They’ll feature header pins for data busses and general IO lines so you can connect them to your favorite controllers and sensors after the conference. As we did last year, we’ll publish reference firmware to get you started.
So if you haven’t already purchased your ticket to FutureStack, head over to http://futurestack.io. We hope to see you there!