Flipper Zero – a toy or a useful gadget?

The appearance resembles an electronic toy from the 1990s, but the device has many functionalities that are useful not in virtual, but in real life. What are we talking about? About Flipper Zero. From our article you will learn what this equipment is and what you can use it for.

How does the Flipper Zero work?

Flipper Zero is a small, portable device that looks like an electronic toy, or Tamagotchi, popular in the late 20th century and early 21st century. With its help, it was possible to take care of a virtual pet – the user was responsible for feeding, washing and cleaning it. Everything was done on a small screen.

The principle of Flipper Zero is similar – you get a small piece of equipment at your disposal, with the help of which you take care of a digital dolphin. The device has:

  • amonochrome LCD display with a diagonal of 1.4 inches, next to which there is an LED indicating that the power is on,
  • a set of buttons – the Flipper is controlled via a directional pad, or d-pad, which is shaped like an addition sign and on the center of which is a confirmation button; besides, there is an undo button on the case.

The Flipper Zero does not require connection to external hardware such as a computer or laptop, as it is completely autonomous. It comes with a lithium-polymer (Li-Po) battery with a capacity of 2,000 mAh, which allows the device to operate without charging for up to 7 days.

The big advantage of this equipment is that it is convenient to use. This is determined by the compact housing and handy buttons. You can carry the Flipper Zero in your pocket or on a strap placed on your wrist and take it wherever you need it – for example, to work or university. The manufacturer assures that the equipment has a solid construction, so it is not easy to damage it.

Flipper Zero modules

Flipper Zero has many modules, so you can integrate it with a variety of devices and systems. This includes connectors:

  • 1-Wire – the interface is used for communication between devices, including i-Button, Cyfral or Dallas contact keys,
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) – allows wireless connectivity between a variety of everyday equipment, while providing great energy savings,
  • NFC – technology is used to exchange information and files in a proximity manner, with no manual pairing or device detection required,
  • RFID – allows identification via radio waves.

The Flipper Zero also features an infrared transmitter. It is also equipped with a single USB port, with which you will increase the available memory for, for example, storing codes for remote controls, signal databases, RFID tags, plugs or modules. With an integrated 433 MHz antenna and CC1101 chip, it can act as a transceiver with a range of up to 50 meters.

What is the Flipper Zero used for?

TheFlipper Zero looks inconspicuous, to some it looks ridiculous, but it is a device with which you can perform many useful tasks. Among other things, it will serve you to:

  • opening barriers or garagedoors, as well as equipment operating in keyless entry systems – this is made possible by the function of RF signal capture, analysis and transmission,
  • connecting to access control systems – with the help of the device you can activate electric strikes on doors without the need to use ordinary keys,
  • operate equipment used daily in the house – this is possible thanks to the infrared transmitter and the library of signals emitted by TVs, air conditioning systems or stereos contained in the device,
  • controlling electronics – the Flipper Zero is used for communication within the SPI or UART interface, which lays the groundwork for debugging, flashing or software testing (fuzzing); the option to emulate HID devices is also useful,
  • account security – the hardware acts as a U2F key, which allows you to log in to many services, including Facebook, Gmail or Twitter,
  • digital communications, such as with smartphones and IoT (Internet of Things) devices – Android and iOS apps are already being developed to increase the functionality of the tool in question.

Flipper Zero is also used to connect with other users. You can remotely share infrared remote control databases with them, for example, and exchange NFC card IDs.

A big advantage of the Flipper Zero is that the hardware is available as open source, or open source software. As a result, you can freely configure and customize it, using, for example, an Arduino plug-in and various hardware modules. A small device, and it can do so much – right?

The capabilities of Flipper Zero are gradually growing. At CosmicWeb, we will be constantly checking out what else this device can do, including how to use it to improve programming and hardware or software development and testing. Perhaps it will allow us to build applications faster and more efficiently? We’ll see – if we discover anything new, we’ll report about it on our website.

Who is Flipper Zero designed for?

Flipper Zero can be used by anyone who:

  • is interested in modern technologies and wants to experiment to improve his/her skills in operating modern digital systems,
  • intends to make his or her life easier by conveniently operating everyday appliances with a single device.

Flipper Zero is dedicated to:

  • pentesters and ethical hackers, i.e., people who search for vulnerabilities in the security of companies’ IT systems to identify weaknesses, thus preventing cyber threats,
  • geeks – these are people who are passionate about and dedicated to electronics or IT,
  • hobbyists of modern equipment, who are constantly searching for technical innovations to use during their daily life or professional work.

It should be mentioned that there are concerns that the Flipper Zero could be used for criminal activities, including breaking through security features of access control systems and stealing various data or items. However, such concerns apply to many other useful solutions or items-an example is the Apache Log4j library, which is used for logging events in Java-based applications and is used by Amazon and Microsoft, among others. Hackers have exploited a vulnerability in this library to launch ransomware attacks and to mine cryptocurrencies.

Flipper Zero can be seen as a piece of hardware that enables learning through play. Taking care of a virtual dolphin is sure to bring you a lot of pleasure and joy, and if you add the opportunity to expand your digital skills, satisfaction is guaranteed. At CosmicWeb, we appreciate the great functionality of the Flipper Zero and how such a seemingly modest piece of equipment even has tremendous capabilities.