Iris recognition is a method of biometric authentication that uses pattern-recognition techniques based on high-resolution images of the irides of an individual’s eyes. Iris recognition system is a digital image processing engine that analyzes digital images of eye irides for identification and verification of individuals. Iris recognition system can be designed using a DSP processor hardware and a Matlab sourcecode on image processing algorithms. Alternatively the Iris recognition system can be implemented in VLSI digital system using FPGA design (VHDL/Verilog coding) and Matlab FPGA-toolboxes for converting image processing software code into VLSI RTL code.

Not to be confused with ocular-based technology retina scanning, iris recognition uses camera technology with subtle infrared illumination reducing specular reflection from the convex cornea, to create images of the detail-rich, intricate structures of the iris. Converted into digital templates, these images provide mathematical representations of the iris that yield unambiguous positive identification of an individual.

Iris recognition efficacy is rarely impeded by glasses or contact lenses. Iris technology has the smallest outlier (those who cannot use/enroll) group of all biometric technologies. Because of its speed of comparison, iris recognition is the only biometric technology well-suited for one-to-many identification. A key advantage of iris recognition is its stability, or template longevity, as, barring trauma, a single enrollment can last a lifetime.

Current Applications of Iris Recognition

  • National border controls: the iris as a living passport
  • Computer login: the iris as a living password
  • Cell phone and other wireless-device-based authentication
  • Secure access to bank accounts at ATM cash machines
  • Ticketless travel: authentication of rights to services
  • Premises access control (home, office, laboratory, etc)
  • Driving licenses; other personal certificates
  • Forensics; birth certificates; tracing missing or wanted persons
  • Automobile ignition and unlocking, anti-theft devices for modern intelligent vehicles
  • Anti-terrorism (e.g. security screening at airports)
  • Secure financial transactions (electronic commerce, banking), Credit-card authentication
  • Internet security; control of access to privileged information