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Understanding Iris Recognition and its Applications

  • Akansha Sharma
  • Mar 14, 2024
  • RFID
Understanding Iris Recognition and its Applications

Biometric recognition and authentication has become the go-to technology for modern access control and security needs, which itself has been an integral part of many industries that employ huge workforce and manage day-to-day operations including keeping tabs on employees, and visitors, keeping records of asset movement, etc. For example, Biometric authentication with fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, and iris recognition is being used in various corporate offices for employee access control, and visitor management, various libraries are using facial recognition to provide its members a seamless access control and streamline various library operations including borrowings and deposits of books and journals, etc.

When it comes to Iris Recognition, is one of the most advanced biometric authentication technologies that recognizes persons based on unique patterns found within the ring-shaped region surrounding the pupil of the eye. Every iris is unique to the individual, making it a perfect biometric verification method. Iris recognition remains a specialized type of biometric identification, highly sophisticated and secure and it is mostly used in banking and financial institutions, immigration control airport access control, etc.

What is Iris Biometric Authentication?

In simple words, Iris recognition entails using the iris as a unique identifier for allowing access to devices, applications, areas, or data. The use of Iris Biometric Authentication adds a strong layer of security to digital systems, ensuring that only authorized users have access.

How Iris Recognition Works?

Iris recognition, unlike other popular biometric authentication methods, requires dedicated image capture, feature extraction, and database management with iris code creation and authentication of the same. It works as follows:

1. Image Capture: Specialized cameras or sensors are used in an iris identification system to acquire a high-resolution image of the iris.

2. Feature Extraction: The acquired image is subsequently processed to extract distinguishing characteristics such as furrows, crypts, and other patterns.

3. Iris Code Creation: The extracted elements are converted into a digital template known as an "iris code," which embodies the unique qualities of the individual's iris.

4. Matching and Authentication: During authentication, the newly obtained iris image is compared to the previously saved iris code. If the match succeeds, access is allowed.

Understanding Iris Recognition and its Applications

Advantages of Iris Recognition

Unlike other biometric verification methods, iris recognition offers a high level of security in financial institutions, access control, and home safety. Some advantages include:

Spoofing Difficulty: As iris information is unique to each individual and requires specialized technology to obtain, spoofing it for unauthorized access can be difficult. The system also uses a high level of encryption, offering extremely high security against spoofing. 

Persistence: Since iris size and conditions do not change much with age, scans have a lengthy shelf life as verification tools. Similarly, except for eye injuries, they are rarely subject to physical damage. Unlike fingerprint scanning and facial recognition, the iris recognition system hardly fails to authenticate users, which makes for an improved and efficient user experience.

Distance and Flexibility: While it may appear difficult to scan an iris, advances in camera and light technology have made it possible for us to scan a human iris from up to 40 feet away.

Applications of Iris Recognition

Since the pattern of irises is highly complicated and nearly impossible to spoof, it has been utilized in the most sensitive sectors for accurate identification of an individual.

Here are a few applications:

Access Control and Security with Iris Scanning

Access control and security are key components for protecting both physical and digital spaces. Access control entails regulating and monitoring entry into buildings, places, or systems to ensure that only authorized individuals get access. It is done by utilizing a variety of technologies such as key cards, PIN codes, and advanced biometric systems such as iris recognition or fingerprint scanning. With Iris recognition-based biometric security and access control mechanisms, organizations can reduce the danger of unauthorized access and secure sensitive information and valuable assets while also assuring occupant safety. Such security measures extend beyond physical access control to digital domains, including authentication procedures, encryption protocols, and cyber security standards.

National ID and Biometric Iris Authentication 

Every nation, particularly developing countries, issues a national ID to its citizens. Along with the fingerprint, iris recognition was initialized for the most accurate citizen identification. It helps prevent duplicate registration, ensuring quick and exact voting identification, providing an easily available audit trail, and facilitating interoperability between government agencies for data integration, verification, and maintenance.

Immigration and Border Control with Iris Recognition 

Increased traveler volume and international crime are putting pressure on security checkpoints to modernize their security systems, including the implementation of an automatic identification system. As a result, international crossings and airports now use an iris biometric authentication method to speed up the immigration procedure while ensuring all safety precautions. Numerous international airports in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom are now using iris biometric authentication for immigration. In addition, airline firms use iris-authenticated boarding systems to ensure trip security.

Healthcare Services

The iris biometric authentication system has been used in healthcare services to identify the correct patient, learn about the patient's medical history and treatment plan, give health policy benefits, and protect the individual's personal information. Furthermore, as biometric authentication eliminates the need for physical interaction, it ensures hygiene.

Banking & Financial Services

According to ISO 19092:2008, banks and financial institutions are responsible for governing biometrics technology, which is intended to replace the traditional PIN/password security mechanism. Among the several biometric modalities, the iris authentication system has been regarded as the most secure for KYC (Know Your Customer), identifying individual clients and workers while detecting fraudsters.

In conclusion, Iris recognition, with its outstanding precision and non-intrusive nature, has emerged as a strong contender in biometric authentication. The use of Iris Biometric Authentication in diverse applications demonstrates its adaptability and capacity to transform the landscape of secure access.

Frequently Asked Questions on Iris Recognition

Q1. What is the principle of iris scan authentication?

The iris, the colored region of the eye that surrounds the pupil, has fine elements including furrows, crypts, and other distinguishing characteristics. The fundamental idea is that these patterns are not unique to each individual but also consistent over time, making the iris a trustworthy biometric identification. Iris identification systems use specialized cameras or sensors to take high-resolution photographs of the iris. These collected images are converted into digital templates, often known as "iris codes," using a feature extraction procedure.

Q2. What are the benefits of iris recognition?

The benefits of iris recognition include its high accuracy, non-intrusive nature, and resistance to spoofing, making it a reliable alternative for secure identification. The intricate and distinct patterns within the iris contribute to unparalleled authentication precision, reducing the possibility of inaccurate results. Unlike other biometric technologies, iris recognition is non-contact, which eliminates hygiene concerns and user discomfort.

Q3. What are the 4 main types of biometrics?

The four major categories of biometrics are:

1. Fingerprint Recognition where common applications include access control, smartphone unlocking, and forensic identification.

2. Facial recognition is widely utilized in security systems, airports, law enforcement, and mobile devices to verify identities.

3. Iris Recognition is widely used for safe access control, border control, healthcare, and financial activities.

4. Voice recognition can be used for identification in phone systems, smart home devices, and secure access.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Jan 31, 2024

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