Chhavi Promises to Be an Open Source, Wireless, High-Accuracy Arduino-Compatible Fingerprint Scanner

Built around an ESP32, this compact gadget includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC connectivity, plus USB for wired use and programming.

Hardware developer Akshar Vastarpara is preparing to launch a second crowdfunding campaign, this time to fund an open source wireless fingerprint sensor built around an Espressif ESP32 microcontroller: Chhavi.

"Chhavi is a touch-capacitive, wireless, NFC-enabled fingerprint sensor with ultra low power and high end security capabilities," Vastarpara claims of the project, named for the Hindi word for "image." "Chavvi’s open source firmware is fully compatible with Arduino IDE."

"Featuring Fingerprints' FPC BM-Lite fingerprint sensor and the incomparable ESP32, Chhavi is simply superior fingerprint sensing hardware, just like the fingerprint sensor in your smartphone."

The Chhavi is a badge-like gadget that promises fully-wireless biometric authentication. (📹: Akshar Vastarpara)

Vastarpara claims the sensor offers considerably improved performance and lower power requirements over optical fingerprint sensors — which, coupled with integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC connectivity, means it's possible to add a battery and use the device independently.

"Chhavi is useful in a number of fingerprint sensor applications, especially considering its wireless, remote low power and NFC capabilities," Vastarpara says. "Chhavi is perfect for PC security, such as password managers or local authentications, as well as battery-based remote systems, a wide variety of locking systems and even attendance/personnel management systems, just to name a few."

Vastarpara has promised that the Chhavi will be open source, though at the time of writing the project's GitHub repository was empty bar for a single example sketch taken from the sensor's manufacturer. It's not his first project, though: Late last year he launched the Maypole, an adapter to connect microSD cards to USB and Wi-Fi, design files for which were shared under an unspecified licence in December.

More information on the Chhavi, and a link to register to be notified when the crowdfunding campaign goes live, can be found on the project's Crowd Supply page.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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