The E-Ink Badge


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At Census, we have a diverse and distributed team, with many of us working remotely from all over the world. However, we’re growing, and if you bet me $100 to recognize one of my fellow engineers on the street, you have decent odds you’ll be $100 richer.

So, we recently had the opportunity to come together for a meetup in New York to connect, collaborate, build stronger relationships in person, and to figure out what the heck we all look like. And to help with that, I made badges!

But not just any badges.

Tired of boring badges that just blend in with the crowd? You want to show off your quirky personality and love of retro technology? You are looking for a fun project to bond with your engineering team? Look no further than the programmable e-ink badge!

This little gadget may be small, but it packs a punch with four different screens. The welcome screen greets you like an old friend, while the personalized badge screen lets you show off your unique style with your photo. And who needs a boring company logo when you can have a whole page that you can toggle like a magician, represent your organization in style!

But wait, there is more! It comes with a special screen just for you, featuring the one and only Clippy. That is right, the infamous Microsoft Office assistant is back, and this time he’s full of random quotes to brighten up your day. Because who doesn’t love being told to “Think Different” by a cartoon paperclip, right? Clippy has got you covered!

There are only 26 badges, and every one of them has a unique personality. Building, programming and assembling badges was a fun project, but it was all worth it in the end. Hardware, software, 3D printed cases, inventory management — such wow, much love. Next time I will design a custom PCB. It may just become my new favorite conversation starter.

Do you want to build one by yourself? Here are the components used:

  1. Badger 2040

  2. Coin Cell Battery Holder

  3. 2x CR2032

  4. 4x M2 8mm bolts

  5. 3D-printed case: see /case folder. I was using Prusament PLA

Code and more instructions at:

If you have any questions about the project, please let me know.

Kirill Timofeev

Staff Software Engineer at Census since 2021. I live in New York City with my wife and our teenager. I love cycling.


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