Iris recognition

It is an automated method of biometric identification that uses mathematical pattern-recognition techniques on video images of one or both of the irises of an individual's eyes, whose complex patterns are unique, stable, and can be seen from some distance.

Iris-based identification requires specific hardware to be used, unlike software-based modalities such as face and voice recognition, so it is less common in consumer-facing deployments. But thanks to recent innovations in biometrics that have made the technology more accessible in terms of cost and installation, iris biometrics is becoming more prominent across the vertical markets and also in the consumer electronics sphere.

How iris scanning developed?

Here's a quick history of how iris scanning technology has developed.

1936: US ophthalmologist Frank Burch suggests the idea of recognizing people from their iris patterns long before the technology for doing so is feasible.

1981: American ophthalmologists Leonard Flom and Aran Safir discuss the idea of using iris recognition as a form of biometric security, though technology is still not yet advanced enough.

1987: Leonard Flom and Aran Safir gain US patent #4,641,349 for the basic concept of an iris recognition system.

1994: US-born mathematician John Daugman (currently a professor of computer science at Cambridge University, England) works with Flom and Safir to develop the algorithms (mathematical processes) that can turn photographs of irises into unique numeric codes. He is granted US patent #5,291,560 for a "biometric personal identification system based on iris analysis" the same year. Daugman is widely credited as the inventor of practical iris recognition since his algorithm is used in most iris-scanning systems.

1996: Lancaster County Prison, Pennsylvania begins testing iris recognition as a way of checking prisoner identities.

1999: Bank United Corporation of Houston, Texas converts supermarket ATMs to iris-recognition technology.

2000: Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in North Carolina and Flughafen Frankfurt Airport in Germany become two of the first airports to use iris scanning in routine passenger checks.

2006: Iris-scanning systems are installed at British airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, and Stansted. Privacy concerns notwithstanding, hundreds of thousands of travelers voluntarily opt to use the machines to avoid

Read Also:- how iris recognition work? Advantages of iris recognition.

Where can iris recognition be used?

Iris recognition is commonly used as a physical access control modality, ideal for high throughput environments that demand speed and accuracy. It is also used frequently in border control deployments, able to identify travelers as they enter and exit countries by land, sea and air.

Recently, iris scanners have made their way onto consumer mobile devices, a development that has some heralding the rise of iris recognition in FinTech, IoT and other hot verticals. Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 features an iris scanner, as do the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XLWindows phones, and multiple editions of the Fujitsu Arrows devices available through NTT Docomo—a mobile carrier that is seen as a pioneer in the world of smartphone iris biometrics.

Iris scanning plays a key role in the biometric border control pilot project underway at the Otay Mesa US-Mexico land border.

Iris biometrics are used to protect CERN, the scientific facility in Geneva, Switzerland, famous for housing the Large Hadron Collider.

Why use Iris Recognition?

There are more people on Earth than ever before, owning more things, and swapping more information every single day. Security has never been more important but—ironically, thanks to the computing power at everyone's disposal—never easier to crack. Traditionally, security relies on things that are difficult to do quickly: locks are physically difficult to bust open without the correct metal keys, while information secured by encryption(computerized scrambling) is hard to access without the right mathematical keys. But this kind of security has a basic flaw: with the right key, even the wrong person can quickly gain access.

Most security experts think biometrics (body measurement) is the answer. Instead of restricting access to things through arbitrary locks and keys, we grant access to people if we can positively identify them by measuring some unique pattern on their body. If you think about it, an ordinary passport photo is a crude example of biometrics. When the border guards look at your face and compare it with your passport photo, what they're doing is intuitively comparing two images. Is one nose bigger than another? Are the eyes further apart? That's simple biometrics. The trouble is that our faces change all the time and lots of people look very similar. Fingerprints are a more reliable form of biometrics, but even they're not infallible: illnesses and injuries, as well as basic wear-and-tear, can alter the pattern of ridges on our fingers in time. Iris scans are a much more reliable way of identifying people—simplying by taking quick photographs of their eyes!