The PinePhone isn’t just the most affordable smartphone designed to run GNU/Linux-based operating systems. It’s also designed to be a modular device – most internal components are user replaceable, and there are six pogo pins that allow extra hardware to be added to the device.
So far Pine64 has announced plans for three optional accessories that use those pins. Swap out the back cover of the phone and you’ll eventually be able to add NFC, wireless charging, or a physical keyboard.
But independent hardware hackers have come up with several other solutions. The latest? A functional fingerprint reader.
Redditor zschroeder6212 has cut a hole in the back cover a PinePhone, stuffed a fingerprint sensor inside, and connected it to the the pogo pins.
At this point, software is said to be “functional, but definitely in a proof-of-concept stage.” But it should be available via GitHub soon for anyone that wants to inspect and/or improve the code.
Pine64 says it will also be reaching out to zschroeder6212, suggesting that an official fingerprint sensor accessory could be forthcoming. Or maybe a multi-function accessory.
According to Pine64 community manager Lukasz Erecinski, it’d be possible to make a single back cover that supports both wireless charging and a fingerprint sensor.