Iris scan biometrics employs the
unique characteristics and features of the human iris in order to verify the identity
of an individual. The iris is the area of the eye where the pigmented or coloured circle, usually brown or blue, rings the dark
pupil of the eye. 
Passwords are easily broken
or forgotten. Security
cards can be lost or stolen. Therefore there is an increased need for
some kind of a reliable identification scheme.
The biometric system provides
personal recognition based on “who you are” as opposed to or in conjunction
with “what you know” (password) or “what you have” (security card). Biometric
security offers a different method of authentication by using something that
is far more unique than a password
– ourselves.  A biometric
is a physical characteristic such as facial structure, eye color, voice, iris
pattern, and fingerprint.
The iris of the eye has been described as the ideal part of the human
body for biometric
identification for several reasons:
- The Iris is an extremely data-rich physical
- The details of each iris are phenotypically
unique, that is, no two are exactly alike, not even among twins, not
even in your own two eyes.
- The patterns of the Iris do not change and are the
same throughout life
- The Iris is an internal organ which is physically
protected against damage by the cornea. This distinguishes it from fingerprints, which
can be difficult to recognize after years of certain types of manual
- The patterns of the Iris are externally visible,
even from a distance.
Iris identification can be
broken down into four fundamental steps:
- First, a person stands in front of the iris identification
system, generally between one and three feet away, while a wide angle
camera calculates the position of their eye.
- A second camera zooms in on the eye and takes a
black and white image.
- Once the image is captured, the iris' elastic connective
tissue-called the trabecular meshwork is
analyzed, processed into an optical "fingerprint," and
translated into a digital form. 
- Finally, the digital Iris Code is checked against a
previously stored 'reference template' in the database.
Is there any way to fool the
system? Researchers attempted to do this by creating contact lenses with irides printed on them. The system had no trouble
spotting the fakes. Some of the newer drug treatments for glaucoma include changes in
iris pigmentation among their side effects. This should not be a problem
since iris recognition systems rely on monochrome images, the developers say.
Schiphol Airport was the first to use iris
recognition to secure border control. It began using its automated border
passage system in October 2001. That system combines iris recognition technology
and an advanced smart card.
An iris recognition system is also being
evaluated at London's
Frequent transatlantic travelers on British Airways and
Virgin now use the EyeTicket Jetstream
system to speed them through passport control at the world's busiest airport.
The system is similar to that in use at Schiphol.
A similar system is in place in Germany's
Airport. While the North American experience has so far been limited to
International Airport, plans are now underway to install similar systems
at JFK in New York, Dulles in Washington, DC and at
14 international airports in Canada.
Future applications will include e-commerce,
information security, authorization, building entry, automobile ignition,
forensic applications, computer network access, PINs,
and personal passwords.
Biometrics for Network
2. Retina and
3. Iris and
4. Biometric Education – Iris Recognition
- IRIS SCAN
- Look Me in the Eye
and Schiphol bring biometric iris scanning to
Created by: Azadeh Kiani
Last Modified: April 6th,