Iris Recognition Systems For Access Control And Identity Management Gain Popularity

Tuesday, November 9, 2010
By Paul Martin

SourceSecurity.com
eyes have it. The use of iris recognition technology is expanding around the globe and it is being utilised in a vast array of commercial and government applications ranging from access control to time management. ASSA ABLOY Future Lab examines how this biometric technology is breaking new ground in identity management and other security applications.

Retinal vs. iris scans

Often confused with a retinal scan, iris recognition systems capture an image of the eye, and then analyse the coloured part around the pupil that you see on the front of the eye called the “iris”.

The retina, on the other hand, is made up of the photoreceptor cells located at the back of the eye and is not visible. While iris recognition essentially captures an image of the texture of the iris, a retinal scan captures an image of the pattern of the retina’s blood vessels inside the physical eye.

“The iris is in plain sight as opposed to the retina, so it’s easier to take a good image of the iris,” says David Usher, senior scientist with Retica Systems, a Massachusetts-based company that designs and develops iris-based identity management systems. “In iris recognition, an image of the iris is taken using Near Infrared (NIR) LED light and algorithms are then used to form an encoded representation of the texture of that iris. This encoding, or template, is then used to match against other templates and confirm or refute identity.”

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