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Most people make do with a PIN or pattern lock to secure their Android devices. If you need something a little stronger (or just want to feel like Ethan Hunt) EyeVerify has just released the beta version of an app that uses honest-to-goodness eye scans. Eyeprint takes a photo of your face, then matches the pattern of blood vessels on your eyeballs to a previous photo to access locked apps. The beta is extremely limited - none of my devices are showing compatible on the Play Store. The listing specifically mentions the Galaxy S III, Note II, and HTC One.

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Technically, Eyeprint isn't using the classic retina scan to grant access - that would require a small amount of infrared light to illuminate the membrane at the back of the eye. It uses the same principle of amazingly unique vein patterns, but it picks them up from the corners of your eyes. Users need a front-facing camera of at lest 2 megapixels. To create the baseline, you'll have to follow the instructions while using the rear camera, looking to the far left and right to let the camera pick up the veins on your eyes. After that, a quick scan of your eyes looking left and right from the front-facing cam should do the trick.

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EyeVerify hopes to expand its services to other developers on Android and iOS through an SDK. At present, the app can only lock other apps - you can't actually unlock your phone with an eye scan. (There's a quick "lock all" option for the truly paranoid.) Early feedback from the Play Store indicates that it's very efficacious, so hopefully more devices will be enables as the beta program continues. The Eyeprint App Lock Beta is free to try for 30 days.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Pengwn

    I'm actually really curious how this would work for me. I'm a medicinal cannabis user and would really like to know if I'm still able to access my device once I get my zombie eyes. Unfortunately, it's not compatible with my Gnex or N7 and am unable to test it first hand :(

  • Byung-Hoon Cho

    Disappointed that the Nexus 4 isn't supported...

  • Ben Enos

    Very poor app, even for beta. It took me a dozen tried to even set up, it kept crashing. Then when it finally worked and I was able to use it to lock an app, once the app had been unlocked and used once, I found that it was no longer protected. Apparently we are supposed to go back into the settings and re-select each app after we use them in order for them to be protected. I'm using a Samsung galaxy3 if it makes any difference.

    • Matthew Fry

      Well that rules it out for me :) I'll wait for a full release announcement to try it out.

    • Joris Griffioen

      I think it only locks on first run. The second time you open the app, it is technically already running. Damn multitasking!

      • Ben Enos

        I actually thought of that and went into settings and force closed the app so it wasn't running anymore, and when I tried opening it again it still wasnt protected. Apparently they know about it because I saw a comment in the market from another user that mentioned it. But the developer ignored that part of the feedback in thier reply.

  • AnthonyRyan89

    Why isn't it compatible with the N4 & N7?

  • Micah Howey

    I found several ways to bypass the security on this app... It would be nice to hear from the dev, because in just a few hours I found 6 ways to bypass the lock. I'm surprised they are giving just 30 days during a beta.

  • Philip Kahn

    How are Nexus devices not supported? They're the bloody STANDARD.

    • http://shanked.me/ Shank

      If I had to guess, they require a high quality front facing camera to "scan" (aka take pictures of) your eyes.

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      what Phyllis implied, I am surprised that a mom can profit $7220 in one month on the internet. have you read this web link w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  • krama

    incompatible with nexus 7, dafuq?

  • http://www.blogotechblog.com Lalit Indoria

    Sony Xperia U and Samsung Galaxy S Advance not supported - both have front cams, dafuq?

  • robert wilson

    it's showing as not compatible with htc one on the play store.

  • Tony

    I gave it a go, managed to get it working, but noticed it has an abnormally high battery usage, at least 70% higher than other apps I was running

  • http://battlecougar.com/ James Sugrue

    Of all the phones and tablets that I have, the only one supported is the HTC Desire? WTF?

  • George

    My HTC Desire HD is showing as compatible, despite the lack of a front-facing camera :|