Badgify at MIDEM Hack Day 2012

This past weekend I participated in a Music Hack Day-esque event. It’s not quite a regular hack day as it is not an open invitation – you have to apply and have attended a hack day before. It’s because it’s a higher pressure event and you’re expected to output a quality hack with a good demo by the end of it for the music business conference attendees. The hack day is also much smaller – 30 people instead of 100+. The result was that it was easier to meet the other hackers and the demonstrations went just amazingly well. Everyone was well spoken and gave a clean demo.

Rebecca Stewart
Photo by Thomas Bonte

I worked with Suzie Blackman to produce Badgify. It was an Arduino and Android hack inspired by an Internet of Things approach. There are many ways to broadcast what you are listening to: Spotify,, Facebook, This Is My Jam, and so on. But all of those services require online connectivity for others to learn what music you are listening to. Our hack lets you share what you are listening to with others in the same physical space as you. Using Bluetooth, your Android phone can communicate with a LCD screen “badge” that you can pin on your coat or bag. It displays the artist you most recently listened to (and scrobbled to

Below is the video of our presentation and a video of the badge and app in action. Our presentation is about 37 minutes in.

The hacks have also picked up a little bit of press.

I’m really glad I attended. Last year’s event was the first MIDEM Hack Day and it was invite-only; there wasn’t an application process. I was vocal in my disappointment in conducting an event this way and was happy that an open application process was adopted for this year. I wholeheartedly encourage you to apply next year.

Sneak Peek at Android + Arduino + Processing

I’ve fallen very behind in posting about the sessions I’ve been attending at ITP Camp, but the one I attended last night has so much exciting potential, it’s skipping the queue of posts of previous sessions. The session description and info can be found here.

A couple months ago Google announced their Open Accessory Developement Kit. While everyone was really excited that they decided to use Arduino in the platform, there were some concerns about some of the engineering decisions that were made. The good folks involved with the development of Processing care about low barriers to entry for programming and feel that the workflow of Eclipse with the ADK could be a bit more user-friendly.

Processing for Android is already released and it is indeed very easy to get something running on an Android device. The exciting new development is in the photo below. This is an Arduino Mega ADK for Android. Only a couple dozen currently exist and as Tom Igoe is helping with the development, he has a box of them at ITP. They will become less exclusive very soon as they go on sale 4 July.

Arduino Mega ADK boark

Once everything is released, developers/artists/designers/people can used the Arduino environment and Processing to created objects that interact with the physical world and are run by Android devices including all the connectivity that they offer. Super amazing stuff.


  • Processing 1.5 or greater
  • Arduino Environment 1.0-beta1 or greater
  • Android ADK 2.3.3 (need API 7 to set up Processing and API 10 for Arduino)
  • Not yet released Arduino ADKLib for Processing
  • Android device
  • Arduino Mega ADK for Android
    • On a side note, starting in Arduino 1.0, Arduino sketches will no longer have .pde as the extension but will begin sporting the .ino extension. This means no more confusion between Processing and Arduino sketches. It is important to know that all .pde sketches from previous Arduino environments (including the examples) will have their extensions automatically changed to .ino. So older versions of Arduino will not recognize the new extension and it will appear that your examples and sketches have vanished. Changing the extension back to .pde will solve that, but reports are that Arduino 1.0 has been running sketches from older versions without any problems.