I am currently planning a thesis that involve scanning fingerprints and storing the data in a database. The problem is that I do not know if it is possible for me/us to get the fingerprint data or variables scanned by the fingerprint scanner.

I tried searching on google, of course, but I don't see any information on how to display the data in a form such as binary. I'm not sure if I can extract the data from the Arduino then store it in a website/database (---which to be fair, since fingerprints can be confidential, I understand if some articles don't provide a sample.)

Is it possible to get and extract the fingerprint scan data? For example, converting the scanned data in to a binary representation (011010101 etc.)

  • 2
    What is the fingerprint scanner you are using? Of course it is possible to get fingerprint data since that's what the scanner is doing. It just might not give you the data if it's designed to be used as a pass/fail kind of device. Fingerprints are hardly confidential, you can record one with a camera or just a drop of wet ink. Jul 22, 2021 at 16:24
  • I have 3 Products in my choices: AS608, R307 and this one (shopee.ph/…) sorry this one didnt write the product type. i wonder what are suitable for the thing im looking for?
    – FaizTact
    Jul 23, 2021 at 7:18

3 Answers 3


I'm a software engineer that works with biometric sensors. The answer is, it will vary greatly depending on the scanner you've chosen. Some hardware solutions have built-in subject enrollment and database matching; some simply collect an image and return it in an appropriate format- sometimes an image file (e.g. PNG), or a template file (a binary representation of a subject and/or their fingerprint(s)).

For you, I highly recommend avoiding the pain of interfacing with an Arduino at such a low level, and use a Raspberry Pi or other full computer to write a collection program with your vendor's SDK. Linux is supported by all the major players I've worked with, and that will drastically ease integration with whatever database or website you have in mind. Many vendors have built-in enrollment, storage, and matching examples as part of their SDKs that will help you get up and going in short order

EDIT: As this is an Arduino SE, I realize I should give a microcontroller-friendly answer as well. There are indeed scanners like this. It does templating and matching on board if I understand correctly, and the provided library does indeed allow you to transfer those templates over serial. Granted, you still have to get that data from your Arduino to a computer of some sort, so I still think a Pi is the shorter putt ;)

  • highly appreciated! regarding to "some simply collect an image and return it in an appropriate format- sometimes an image file (e.g. PNG), or a template file (a binary representation of a subject and/or their fingerprint(s))." does the "template file" is literally different to each other. like my thumb left will have different template to right thumb? sorry i dont have Fingerprint scanner yet(but just like the sample, im planning to buy one like that). im curious a bit
    – FaizTact
    Jul 23, 2021 at 7:19
  • If I understand what you are asking, yes, those two template files will be unique. As a matter of fact, even if you scan the same finger twice, the two resulting templates will be unique, like taking a picture of the same thing twice will make two slightly different pictures- it's up to the matcher to tell you if the two prints are "close enough" to be considered a match. How close is "close enough" will vary based on your desired false-positive and false-negative rates
    – automaton
    Jul 23, 2021 at 17:15
  • It is also worth noting that "template" is a general term that means "a data representation of a fingerprint," and not a standardized file/data format. Each vendor has its own proprietary template format. If you don't mind me asking, what is your thesis trying to show, exactly?
    – automaton
    Jul 23, 2021 at 17:21
  • in my thesis im planning to make. simply taking the template of the fingerprint. basically it is like a "registration system" similar to School Attendance System but unlike the regular thing you can see in youtube tutorial for beginners, what we are planning is to take the scanned fingerprint then convert it a template then store it online/database. so for example, when a person is suspected for a crime. we can re-enter the fingerprint then determine it by matching the fingerprint.
    – FaizTact
    Jul 23, 2021 at 17:38
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    Sounds cool! Best of luck!
    – automaton
    Jul 23, 2021 at 19:35

There is a discussion thread on Quora discussing finger print scanners that provide raw output. The Quora author recommends a Futronic device which comes with an API for raw image collection. They also discussed NeuroTechnology which apparently also has a downloadable image database. Looking at the neurotechnology website they also have some interesting SDK options. These of course all give you an image not the binary output you described.

It strikes me that a binary encoded output would likely be the result of a recognition algorithm, or a resultant / generated security key. Not sure that is what you intended by your question?

There are a mass of academic papers on open finger print scanning algorithms.

I did a bit of google searching for people capturing raw data from Arduino compatible devices. Didn’t find anyone saying it was easy. Please post back here if you make progress.

Hope this helps get you started.

  • Those information were so useful. thank you so much!
    – FaizTact
    Jul 22, 2021 at 11:34
  • the "binary" thing is simple example of how can i convert it to a data since im not sure of how the data will be converted aside from .bmp. im not entirely hoping if i can convert it to Binary(but if it is possible, ill gladly to know/try)
    – FaizTact
    Jul 22, 2021 at 11:38
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    You’re welcome @DreacLeoson. Remember to please upvote the responses you find useful, and mark if a response answers your question ( I could use the reputation points :-)
    – RowanP
    Jul 22, 2021 at 11:40
  • will do. alhough i need more 15 reputation or higher. still, im going back here to report my progress. this is a good information actually!
    – FaizTact
    Jul 22, 2021 at 11:41
  • 1
    So I upvoted your question, not only for the reputation, I also find the subject interesting and thanks to Rowap for excellent research.
    – Nino
    Jul 22, 2021 at 13:21

Echoing my comment on SO with more information:

Commercial fingerprint sensors like this one do local store and compare and do not expose the actual image or binary signature. What they transmit to the microcontroller are ID's and match success.

If you need the binary data of the image itself you may be able to write your own image processing algorithm, perhaps using machine learning, and use a simple video camera connected to a microcontroller that in turn will send the captured image to your web server for processing.

Arduino can be programmed to capture still images and transfer a bitmap file to a server, such devices (microcontroller and cameras) are widely available.

  • 1
    ahhh. thank you so much for your service. my bad this is just a copy paste from SO but still, thank you for directing me here. i thought Arduino Forum is the only existing QandA website for this. thank you so much!
    – FaizTact
    Jul 22, 2021 at 11:34

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