A wireless, open source, ESP32-based fingerprint sensor with optional NFC

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Chhavi is a tiny, wireless, touch-capacitive fingerprint sensor with high-end security capabilities, support for ultra-low-power operation, and optional NFC connectivity. Its open source firmware is fully compatible with Arduino IDE. Powered by ESP32 and equipped with an FPC BM-Lite fingerprint sensor, by Fingerprints, Chhavi gives you and your projects access to the superior biometric hardware found in many smartphones. Unlike optical fingerprint sensors, which are large and power hungry, this capacitive biometric sensor is tiny, accurate, and power efficient.

During our design process, we determined that NFC communication is a powerful feature for many of the same applications that might require a high-quality fingerprint sensor, yet we could not find a major ESP32-powered NFC controller. So we built one into Chhavi as an optional feature. We also added an optional battery to simplify installation and to facilitate mobile deployments. The result is a tiny device with a cutting-edge fingerprint reader, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability, and support for NFC and battery power if you need them.

Perfect for Physical Security, Device Authentication, Personnel Management, and More

Whether it’s drawing power from a battery or plugged in through USB, Chhavi is well suited to all kinds of fingerprint-sensor applications: signing in to a desktop computer, unlocking a password manager, implementing door locks and other physical security controls, powering attendance or personnel-management systems, or adding biometric authentication to a DIY hardware project – to name just a few examples.

Wireless, Battery-Powered, Biometric Locking Mechanisms

Personnel Management & Data Retrieval

Chhavi comes with an open source library that makes it easy to program using Arduino IDE. And because it includes a built-in USB-to-UART adapter, you can program the ESP32 module right out of the box. Do you prefer working with Espressif’s ESP-IDF framework? Don’t worry, we’re developing a library for that as well!

Despite its tiny, 26 x 26 x 9 mm size, Chhavi is packed full of quality-of-life features as well. It includes a vibration motor, for example, that provides immediate haptic feedback in the event of a successful or unsuccessful fingerprint scan (or that you can re-purpose for other applications as needed). In addition to an MCU reset button, Chhavi also comes with an intuitive on/off switch that allows you to preserve power when it’s running off a battery. (And if you don’t need this feature—if it’s drawing power through USB, for example—you can use that interface as a GPIO instead.)

Add to the above a modular design, an IP7X sensor panel with remarkable physical durability, robust power-management circuitry, longevity estimated at 10 million scans, a built-in 3D antenna…and the list goes on.

Features & Specifications

Physical Features



Power Management

Fingerprint Sensor


NFC Specifications & RF Protocols

¹ ISO/IEC 18092 (NFCIP-1) edition, 2013-03-15. This is similar to Ecma 340
² ISO/IEC 15693 part 2: 2nd edition (2006-12-15), part 3: 1st edition (2001-04-01)
³ ISO/IEC 14443 parts 2: 2001 COR 1 2007 (2007-11-01), part 3: 2001 COR 1 2006 (2006-09-01) and part 4: 2nd edition 2008 (2008-07-15)
NFC Forum Device Requirements V1.3
ISO/IEC 15693 part 2: 2nd edition (2006-12-15), part 3: 1st edition (2001-04-01)

Click to enlarge


ChhaviGT521F52 Optical SensorR301T Fingerprint ModuleSeeedStudio Grove
Capacitive TouchYes No No Yes
Low PowerYes No No Yes
Wi-FiYes No No No
BLEYes No No No
NFCOptional PN7150 No No No
Battery PoweredOptional No No No
Open-SourceYes No No No
Works With ArduinoYes Can be made to work Can be made to work Yes
Main ControllerESP32 None (needs host) None (needs host) None (needs host)
False-Acceptance Rate1/500000 1 / 10000 1 / 10000 1/20000
Verification Time0.4 seconds 1.5 seconds 0.3 seconds 0.34 seconds
Price$49 $40 - $50 $20 - $25 $30 - $35

Support & Documentation

Our open source files are available in our public GitHub repository, you can find more information about Chhavi’s biometric sensor on Fingerprint‘s website, and you can reach us by way of the Ask a technical question link below. (Please do!)

Manufacturing Plan

In order to ensure that we can respond quickly to any issues that might arise during the manufacturing process, we will begin Chhavi production in our lab, where we have everything we need to handle even a very large batch. (Once we have completed all crowdfunding orders and stock pre-orders, we will shift production to a contract manufacturer.) In order to deliver a quality product, we believe it is important to verify the functionality of the final design. To that end, we have already completed the development, prototyping, and testing of Chhavi, which means we are now ready to manufacture and ship any quantity of boards!

Fulfillment & Logistics

After testing and packaging the Chhavi production batch, we will send them on to Crowd Supply’s fulfillment partner, Mouser Electronics, who will distribute them to backers worldwide. You can learn more about Crowd Supply’s fulfillment service under Ordering, Paying, and Shipping in their guide.

Risks & Challenges

While Chhavi was designed with large-scale production in mind, the prototyping phase of this project was a crucial one, and it led to several insights that guided our subsequent development and testing efforts. It also gave us time to carry out an analysis of the project’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT). After a few rounds of prototyping, we now have access to a reliable supply chain and confidence in our ability to deliver on our commitments.

In the Press

Geeky Gadgets

"The Chhavi is a touch-capacitive, wireless, NFC-enabled fingerprint sensor with ultra low power and high end security capabilities."

Biometric Update

"The new Chhavi device is built on an Espressif ESP32 microcontroller and open source code, and features better biometric performance with lower power requirements than optical sensors..." logo


"Chhavi is useful in a number of fingerprint sensor applications, along with capabilities for PC security, such as password managers or local authentications, as well as battery-based remote systems, locking systems and personnel management systems."

Ask a Question

Produced by Vicharak in Surat, India.

Sold and shipped by Crowd Supply.

Chhavi - Fingerprint Sensor & Battery

Chhavi with an FPC BM-Lite fingerprint sensor, a 200 MAh battery, and a 3D-printed stand.

$65 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Chhavi - Fingerprint Sensor, NFC, and Battery

Chhavi with an FPC BM-Lite fingerprint sensor, a NFC controller, an antenna module, a 200n MAh battery, and a 3D-printed stand.

$75 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

About the Team


Surat, India

Electronics was just all about engineering at the beginning, but the hacker community turned this industry into an artistic creative fun thing. We, Vicharak, are particularly interested in developing various kinds of hardware which will eventually serve people and hackers. We have already launched our first campaign with Maypole and some more cool projects are in the pipeline too! We want to try every possible electronics segment which can be hackable and make it more easily hackable. Our main goal is to develop simple solutions with major features.

Akshar Vastarpara

Team Lead

Harit Shukla

Hardware Developer

Jagrutkumar Vaghela

Hardware Developer
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