Finger print option in my ODK Form

I want to add Finger print option in my ODK Form.

Please guide me.

Advance Thanks.


This comes up occasionally and so I'd encourage you to read the topics at

The summary is that it's not possible without writing code and the process isn't easy. Attaching arbitrary data using external app has a good discussion on the current challenges.

So, I don't know what your specific requirements are, but you can do fingerprint capture (not to be confused with the verification and identification piece, which usually accompany capture) without writing any code if you can get a Lumidigm Mercury scanner, an Android device supporting OTG, and an OTG cable using CIMS Fingerprints. It is a cleaned up fork of OpenANDID. You can design encrypted forms that use it without any coding (aside from ODK form design) or additional dependencies. CIMS Fingerprints is also available on the Play store.


Thanks Brent Atkinson,

I have no idea of using the OpenANDID.
Is there any help/tutorial to implement Lumidigm Mercury scanner with CIMS Fingerprints using OpenANDID.

Your help will be really appreciated.

There is not any published help or tutorial that I know of currently. However, there is really not much to it.

If you have the right hardware (the items I listed in my first reply), you just need to have the software installed and a properly designed ODK form. The rest is just normal ODK usage. The form launches the fingerprint software from ODK, and the fingerprint software basically provides a user interface, the Android driver for the scanner, and returns the encoded fingerprint template so it gets embedded in the form upon success.

If you do end up trying it, I can try to assist you. Most likely, I will end up generating wiki documentation, which should be enough to get it running. However, if you never have used the encrypted form or external app functionality in ODK, you should get familiar with those before attempting this. I promise this will be easy if you do.



It appears that I already started some documentation in the CIMS Fingerprints GitHub wiki. Essentially, the two articles there describe two important pieces of information:

  • How to build a working ODK form
  • The fingerprint format that is returned in the form

The second one is important once you start collecting the templates and want to actually use them.


Thanks Sir.
Firstly i read the documentation that you shared.
If i feel any difficulty i will contact you sir.


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Hi to all, one year has passed from this discussion.

I'm thinking now whether to use biometrics (fingerprint or iris) to strengthen the patient identification process in a Clinical Trial that is going to start in the following months in Sierra Leona.

I'm wondering if @tasadduq786 could share his experiences with CIMS Fingerprints and ODK and if something new has arisen during the last year. I've read that there's also SIMPrints but they do not respond to my emails. Has anybody use it?

Thank you very much!

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Hey there @maxramirez84! So, I actually am the developer of the CIMS Fingerprints app and I don't know of anyone using it outside of our project. The app essentially lets you capture biometric templates and embed them into a (hopefully encrypted) ODK form. You can then transmit and use them as any other ODK form. It does not attempt to do what SIMPrints does, which is to give you a complete mobile solution for biometric identity.

I don't know how much you know of biometric identification, but CIMS Fingerprints only handles latent enrollment through capture of the templates. It does not handle verification, or identification. SIMPrints handles all of these I believe. However, depending on your needs, SIMPrints may still not work for you. For real-time, large scale, identification you will likely need an active internet connection and access to an online AFIS (automated fingerprint identification system). The common solutions to the scale problem usually center around creating small cohorts to identify against since the computing power to identify from a large population is not available on typical mobile devices.

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Hello house I was just thinking must the be a Lumidigm Mercury scanner before we can get fingerprint? This there a way we can use the fingerprint pad behind our Android device? thinking thru.