MWC 2015: How to unlock the ZTE Grand S3 with just a glance

We set our sights on Eyeprint ID to see if the eye-scanning tech checks out

Remember when Samsung promised eye-scrolling with the Galaxy S4?

And then the world’s collective disappointment when we realised the scrolling only worked as you move your head and not your eyes. Luckily, ZTE delivers.

Eyeprint ID is a huge selling point of the ZTE’s flagship Grand S3, and how packed the booth was at MWC proved just as much. We’ve seen and tried it with our own eyes, and we’re glad to say that it’s not false advertising. You can really unlock the phone with just a look.

Checking in

Registering your eye-D is as simple as going into the settings, tapping on Sky Eye, and then Change Sky Eye ID. Centre your eyes in the screen and keep still while the phone uses the camera to capture the unique pattern of the blood vessels in the whites of your eyes, and not your pupils as assumed by many. Once the bar fills up, you’re all set to unlock your phone with your eyes like in a scene from a sci-fi movie. And it promises to be more secure than fingerprint verification, at least until someone finds out that people can steal your sight as easily as they can your fingerprints.

Keeping eyes on your phone

You still have to tap the power button to wake the phone up before it can start eye verification. ZTE says that it’s because having the phone stay on the alert for eye detection would put a great strain on the battery, but there are eventual plans to have it work that way. Wake your phone, swipe down from the top, and centre your eyes in the screen. It takes less than a second, much like the fingerprint verification tech we have these days.

Will it work in darkened environments like bars? Yes, apparently. We couldn’t test the theory out because dark corners at MWC are hard to come by, and we didn’t want to set off the alarm by ripping the Grand S3 from its pedestal. See that white square of light beneath where you should set your sights, that’s all the glow the camera needs to register your look.

But in case it doesn’t work, you can always still unlock your phone with your numerical password. We also didn’t manage to try this out hungover with bloodshot eyes, but ZTE assures us that it would work too even after a rager of a night. We’ll just have to take their word for it until we can cast our eyes on a review unit.