Make Badges And Check-in Easy

What it does

We reinvented the hackathon checkin process. When registering, hackers fill in all the normal information, with the addition of a picture of themselves. When the hacker arrives to the event, the checkin system is running on a set of laptops. The hacker can approach a laptop, and the system will automatically detect their face & recognize who they are, printing out a badge for the event. The badges include name, pronouns, university, or any other parameters the hackathon chooses to add. It is also connected to RFID, allowing hackathons to track which hackers have eaten, attended workshops, and other metrics.

How I built it

Face recognition is built with Azure's face verification service along with a database to store images & other hacker information. We get the information from the hacker facing front end through a flask api, and run detection services through another flask api. The printing service is run through a node API which generates and runs an AppleScript. Finally, the RFID tag is created with arduino. We deployed the api to DigitalOcean & the home page to GCP App Engine.

Challenges I ran into

Azure blob storage documentation & examples are out of date. The nodejs SDK for the printer does not work, hence the AppleScript work around. The free tier for Azure's face cognitive service is rate limited too much for practical use.

What I learned

  • AppleScript
  • Azure Face Cognitive Service
  • DYMO Printing Markup
  • How to work with VMA405 RFID
  • Explored Flask more in depth

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