Iris Recognition
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Iris Recognition Eyeball Readers and Biometric Scanners

Iris Scanning Biometric Techniques

The technology examines the unique patterns of the iris.  A computer captures a video image of the colored ring around the pupil of the eye. As no two patterns are alike, even the patterns in a person's left and right eye are unique, making it is a difficult system to circumvent.

More than 200 points of comparison are used by a computer backed scanner that reads a person's eye from a distance of between a few inches to two feet.

An ophthalmologist first proposed the idea in 1936, but it remained science fiction until John Daugman of Cambridge University in England scientist created algorithms in 1989 for iris recognition which are the standards for use today.

The technology is used in jails for employees and in correctional facilities for prisoner identification. Airports in North Carolina and in Frankfurt, Germany, allow frequent passengers to board using this technology.

Fear of discomfort, or the perceived intrusiveness, of reliable iris and retina scans have stalled those methods a bit.

Iris recognition, along with retinal scanning, is probably the most accurate biometric technology available today. Projected spending on this kind of equipment in 2007 is $210.2 million.

Iris scans are non-invasive. The person puts his face in front of a camera, which then analyses all the features. It doesn't require people to take off their glasses.

The system can be used to check in passengers at the ticket desk, baggage check and boarding. It can also be used in conjunction with a multiple security door system. Once a person's iris is scanned and approved, the person is allowed into an area.

Iris recognition is seen as having the highest accuracy of all the biometric technologies.

"The technology reads 266 different characteristics as opposed to fingerprint technology, which reads about 90," says Catherine Kaliniak of EyeTicket, an American company that produces iris recognition equipment.

"The iris doesn't change from the time you're one year old."

EyeTicket has pilot-tested its iris systems at the Frankfurt and Charlotte/Douglas, N.C., airports. In addition, it was used at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Iris scans are used on airport staff and aircrew. EyeTicket is launching a program with Virgin Atlantic and British Airways. Frequent fliers can choose to join the iris program, which will facilitate their passage from the ticket counter through Heathrow's customs and immigration.

The technology is portable and can capture and code millions of scans.

At Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, frequent flyers can sign up for the "Privium Club," which uses iris scans. The software was developed by Schipol, airport police and the immigration service.

Members have their iris data entered on a chip of an identification card. The passenger can zip through passport control and check-in by looking into a scanner. The scan is also used for airport personnel in secure areas.

Schipol authorities will test the technology for one year. After that, they may expand the program.

Iris Reader Technology

01/05 - The University of California Santa Barbara UCSB Nanofabrication Facility recently integrated its BM-ET300s iris recognition reader system with AMAG Technology’s access control software to monitor entry and egress from its sensitive lab.

Panasonic’s BM-ET300 features iris reader technology which is non-invasive and does not require any contact with the user. The readers can be used independently of other forms of ID such as cards, tokens or keys, which can be lost or stolen. Most importantly, iris recognition readers are virtually 100% accurate with an EER of 99.9999992%.

Panasonic’s BM-ET300 Iris Recognition Readers feature a multi-camera system with "one glance" authentication along with a self-prompting audio and visual user guidance system for fast and easy operation. For added reliability versus PC-driven biometrics devices, the BM-ET300 incorporates an embedded processor with real-time operation allowing its use in a systems configuration. The Panasonic BM-ET300 also features a Wiegand input and output for easy integration with virtually any access control system.