DC27 MULTI PASS BADGE. Theme from the movie "The Fifth Element" and a micropython platform.

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So the Fifth Element is pretty much the best movie of all time. Everyone agrees on that. I've made a badge for DEF CON this year themed after the MULTI PASS from the movie. The goal is for a hackable and useful badge on a unified platform.

ESP32, LEDs, WIFI, SD Card, E-Paper display

The theme of this years badge is based on one of my favorite movies, The Fifth Element. Of course there is a little DEF CON flare thrown in there but we tried to stay faithful to the original prop. At least as far as we could in PCB form. For instance we were able to read the part number for the LED indicator on the original prop. That component is still in production and you can see we included that on the final badge. The image is one of the early hand built prototypes so there are a few changes in the final version. The name displayed on the MULTI PASS screen is an option you can change.

Render of final colors
Render of final colors

When we set out to make this badge one of our main goals was to make a badge that would be useful even after the con. The way we are attempting to make this happen is by making our badge easy to develop for and by being compatible with an existing platform. The platform supports apps written in python. Python generally has a lower learning curve then most embedded languages. The platform also has a repository with apps written and submitted by others. There is a ton of documentation and example code so getting started is easy. There is even an emulator so you can write apps before you even get the badge. Apps can be installed over USB or downloaded with an included installer while on WiFi. 

Specs and Features


  • Capacitive touch controls
  • Low power e-paper display with partial update and Zero power screen persistence
  • Embedded micropython implementation supporting python apps
  • Wireless connectivity for OTA software/app updates, browse repo, or communication
  • Open platform with app repository and several years of app development
  • Light weight LiPO battery lasting over 24 hours, rechargeable over USB
  • Separate power control for badge and bling
  • 2 x SAO V1.69BIS headers (I'm a fan of shitty addons)
  • GPIO Headers for use in custom applications
  • 13 animated LEDs
  • All schematics and code will be released after DEF CON


  • 16MB ESP32 WROOM module (dual core 240 MHz, integrated WiFi and Bluetooth)
  • 2.9" e-paper display (296x128)
  • MPR121 I2C Capacitive touch + GPIO controller
  • CP2102 USB UART
  • TP4056 Battery charger
  • Up/Down/Left/Right/Select/Start/A/B capacitive touch buttons for input
  • 1000mAh battery
  • micro SD card reader
  • atmega48 (to make things blink)
  • micro USB
  • 12 pin GPIO Header

  • 1
    Getting started with your MULTI PASS

    Congratulations, you've received your very own DC27 MULTI PASS Badge. Now what? There is not a whole lot to do to get the badge up and running. The only real requirement is to connect your battery. For safety in shipping and handling the LiPo battery is individually packaged in the box. Remove the battery from the little white box, adhere the included velcro stickers (I usually put the stickers on the side with the text on the battery), attach the battery to the back of the badge, and plug it in.

    The badge has two labeled power switches. One for the main badge and screen functions and the other for the LED's and addon ports. This allows you to turn off the badge to conserve power and whenever the badge is turned off the screen will freeze and show whatever is on there until that switch is turned back on.

    The battery is shipped in a storage mode which basically just means it's at about half charge. That will last you a while but it isn't good to run a LiPo all the way down so I still recommend charging your battery when you get the badge. Make sure the badge power switch is turned on and plug the badge in through the micro USB port. The badge will show a charging icon on the top left of the screen. The badge by itself should last a few days on a single charge. Whatever shitty addons you add will obviously impact that time. LiPo batteries are light weight, high capacity, rechargeable, and just generally good. There have been thousands of badges and millions of other products that use LiPo batteries. That said they can pose a risk if damaged. This is rare and not easy to do but consider yourselves warned. I don't take any responsibility if they are damaged or misused. 

  • 2
    Badge Name-Tag Customization

    Quick walk through of how to customize the MULTI PASS app on the badge. The name in the upper right will reflect what you have set your nickname to on the badge, there's a separate app for that. This walk through will help you customize everything else.

  • 3
    Set up MPFShell

    We will use MPFShell to interact with the badge over USB. MPFShell is a shell based file explorer for ESP and WiPy Micropython based devices. This will allow you to browse the apps on the badge and move data around. 

    Install MPFShell:

    git clone
    cd mpfshell
    sudo pip install pyserial
    sudo pip install colorama
    sudo pip install websocket_client
    sudo python install


    Open the launcher on the badge so the badge doesn't go to sleep. 

    launch MPFShell

    Start the shell with:


    At the shell prompt, first connect to the device. E.g. to connect via serial line:

    mpfs> open ttyUSB0

    Now you can list the files on the device with:

    mpfs> ls

    To upload e.g. the local file "" to the device use:

    mpfs> put

    If you like to use a different filename on the device, you could use this:

    mpfs> put

    And to download e.g. the file "" from the device use:

    mpfs> get

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Enjoy this project?



true wrote 08/16/2019 at 02:20 point

Do wish code was released before con.

We are putting together the pirate display - electrified cases with badges. If you have any of these left, would love to acquire one / trade to get this in the case.

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wishbone1138 wrote 07/22/2019 at 16:23 point

Hope there are extras!  I'd still love one of these!

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Tom Nardi wrote 06/22/2019 at 03:00 point

This is such an awesome badge. I wish you were selling more, but I understand the desire not to flood the market.

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Mike Szczys wrote 04/08/2019 at 16:56 point

I will concur that Fifth Element deserves a warm place in pop sci-fi history. Looking forward to seeing the details of your badge!

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