We first walked into BoilerMake not sure what to do, but our eyes lit up when we saw the BoilerMake Badges passed out at the front gates.
First, we experimented with pushing the mesh network - spamming packets to light up LEDs, then recreating a more robust and informative ping message, and that led us to repackage the message framework, especially from the user-facing view. We didn't know what product to make, but we thought these things would come in handy.
Then, inspiration struck. We were inspired by FireChat and other apps involved in the current uprising in Hong Kong - decentralized, unmanageable chat rooms and communication using the BoilerMake badges' mesh networking.
We set to work, creating a way for users to create and save usernames permanently on the badges' EEPROM, instead of having to communicate and remember by user ID. We also forced a badge's LEDs to light up with the ID of the badge that either pinged or messaged it.
Lastly, we created a system through Adafruit's Bluetooth LE breakout board and another Arduino Uno, to essentially pair an Android phone to a BoilerMake badge, and have the phone push messages onto the network.