The Flipper Zero, an effort to combine a Tamagotchi-like virtual pet with a radio-capable penetration testing and analysis platform, has hit a new milestone with the delivery of its long-awaited display panels — and has gained a few new features while its creators were waiting.
Unveiled late last year, the Flipper Zero — a precursor to a planned more powerful device dubbed the Flipper One — is a microcontroller-based gadget which puts a virtual cybernetic dolphin, a la Johnny Mnemonic, in your pocket. Your dolphin friend wants only one thing: To capture and analyze radio and general-purpose input/output (GPIO) signals, from wireless key-fobs to RFID tags.
After a massive success on the crowdfunding circuit, though, production of the Flipper Zero has taken longer than expected due to a range of issues — including, unsurprisingly, the ongoing component shortages throughout the industry. These appear to be over, for crowdfunding backers at least, with the company confirming that the screens needed to build the first production units have finally landed.
The team hasn't been sitting on its thumbs pending delivery, either, and has unveiled some new features for the Flipper Zero — including a handy frequency analyzer. "In order to be able to receive a signal you first need to tune the receiver to the required frequency," Flipper's Pavel Zhovner explains. "But what if you don't know the frequency that the keyfob is working on? To help you with that, we have the frequency analyzer feature added to Flipper. It scans all available frequencies and displays the one that has the strongest signal nearby."
On top of the frequency analysis feature, the sub-gigahertz radio module now includes automated signal analysis — alerting the user to the protocol used by a captured keyfob and automatically decrypting dynamic protocols. Raw signals can also be captured and saved to the SD Card for later analysis, should the dolphin be unsure.
Other firmware enhancements include early BadUSB support, allowing the device to act as an automated USB keyboard and mouse for payload delivery, a USB-UART bridge mode, and a Protobuf RPC interface which allows the sci-fi-themed display to be mirrored on an external device over USB or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The team has also shown off a new build of qFlipper, a cross-platform tool for upgrading the firmware and databases on the Flipper Zero.
The big question remains, though: When will backers see their devices? "We are now making about 150 devices per week, but the production line will achieve a few thousand devices per week in a month," says Zhovner.
"Shipments to backers will begin in December. Due to the complexity of logistics, we need to accumulate a certain volume of parcels for import to each specific country. This is due to the limitations imposed by the logistics broker. We expect to ship most of the backer orders by the end of January."
More details are available on the Flipper blog.