Biometrics: Iris Recognition

The iris, a muscle that regulates the pupil size of an eye, is comprised of patterns that are unique to each individual; due to this, iris recognition technology is an excellent form of identity verification through biometrics. Iris recognition differs from retina scans, as a retina biometric uses the configuration of blood vessels on the retina (in the back of the eye). In an iris recognition scan/test, an image is captured utilizing a specialized camera, and then tests are performed to verify the quality and effectiveness of the image; after the image is confirmed to be adequate, it is compressed and used to compare the user’s iris in future biometric scans. The next time the user attempts to access the facility, they will get another image taken of their iris, and then if that image matches up to the one that is stored, they will be granted access (Aware, 2019).

Like every form of biometric access control method, iris recognition has several strengths and weaknesses. Due to the lack of physical contact required for an iris scan, the process is more sanitary; however, having a camera so close to your eye can be somewhat intimidating. Iris scans are very accurate, but to have optimal results, visible light must be minimized, which can be difficult to achieve depending on the environment in which the test is performed. Iris scans are also quite challenging to spoof, and the results stay current as the iris isn’t as affected by aging as other parts of the body. Iris recognition technology is often utilized in classified government or military installations where they try to implement several recognition strategies to ensure the highest level of security. In the military, I used biometric scans involving the eye a few times, but I am not sure what type they were; many of these were deployed using a phone or wireless device with a special IR-enabled camera.

For a selection of iris capture cameras and scanners, I found Fulcrum Biometrics to have an extensive range of products and services; one of their more expensive products, the Iris ID iCAM TD100 Iris Scanner, is $1799.99 and features single motion automatic iris and face capture, as well as high-speed dual iris capture (Fulcrum Biometrics, n.d.).

Aware. (2018, September 19). Iris recognition – Biometrics make use of our most unique physical features. Retrieved February 24, 2020, from

Fulcrum Biometrics. (n.d.). Iris ID iCAM TD100 Dual Iris Scanner. Retrieved February 24, 2020, from

Categories: Security

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