Primer on iris biometrics


Reliable individual identity is needed to prevent loss of sensitive information, to protect individual property rights, and to control access to secure locations. Biometric recognition technology offers a highly reliable method for verifying identity by using the unique physical characteristics of people. Biometrics’ chief advantage is that it is immune to loss, theft, forgetfulness, and reproduction. Examples of common biometrics include fingerprint, DNA, palm vein, face, retina, and iris.

Iris based biometrics focuses upon the iris. A human iris is the colored portion of the eye surrounding the pupil and having a diameter of about 11 mm (almost 1/2 inch). The iris is composed of muscles that control the size of the pupil, thereby acting as a diaphragm that determines the amount of light that enters into the eyeball. Iris recognition technology verifies identity by using the pattern formed by these muscles.

Benefits of Iris Biometrics

Iris biometrics combines multiple benefits that do not exist in any other biometrics:

  • Iris is among the most accurate biometrics due to the repeatable and rich data exhibited by the iris.

  • The fractal structure of the iris is unique for each eye (left and right) of each person, even among twins.

  • This structure of the iris is stable throughout adult life, providing a highly repeatable identification reference.

  • Capturing an iris image does not require physical contact, is not viewed as intrusive by the user, and does not have a crime-related association like fingerprints.

  • With proper analysis and template coding, the unique fractal structure exhibits nearly infinite degrees of freedom, allowing iris recognition to scale to extremely large populations.

How does iris biometrics work?

The iris camera captures the user’s iris. It will then extract the iris features and patterns into a form of “a template”, and store into the database. This process repeat itself everytime user wants to perform either enrollement or recognition.

  • Enrollment: capture and register the standard iris images of the user in order to further perform recognition functions.

  • Verification: the on-board matching function will compare the two iris template and verify whether the person is who he claims to be.

  • Identification: the captured iris template will be compared with all existing iris templates inside the database and inform who the person is.

Identification Process

Identifying a person using iris recognition requires a few steps:

  • Natural light often reflects off the iris, creating glare that can obstruct part of the view, so the capture process uses near infrared light for illumination. Near infrared is invisible to the human eye.

  • A properly tuned and focused camera takes a clear and detailed image of the iris. Because of the high level of detail required, most existing cameras must be close (around 20 cm or 8 inches) to a user to capture an image.

  • Software must analyze the image to determine the position of the iris, segment the iris into smaller pieces, and remove any segments obstructions by items such as eyelids and eyelashes.

  • Each segment undergoes complicated mathematical wave transforms that extract the “digital fingerprint” of the iris. This information is called the template.

  • The template of the recently captured image must now be compared against a database containing iris images with identity information. A match produces the correct identity of the person.


Superior Algorithms

  • Best Performing Technology Highly Acclaimed by NIST (US Gov.)

Iris recognition is being used in a growing number of mission critical applications. Thus, IriTech’s industry-leading national test performance with NIST (The National Institute of Science and Technology) is indicative of our capability to provide best value to the customers. The huge factors in Iritech’s technological leadership is the incessant, striving nature of our people and nonstop innovation. Thereby we will continue to lead the industry and rapidly respond to the market needs of the most demanding iris identification and its diversifying applications.

  • Superiority of IriTech Iris Biometric Algorithm

IriTech algorithm is based on our original patented “variable multi-sector method”. Using this method we achieve one of the highest accuracy marks in the industry. Besides accuracy, another strength of IriTech algorithm is its versatility. Namely, even if the eye is occluded by eyelashes, contacts, reflection, or eyelid, we can still achieve very high accuracy, whereas the circular segmentation of existing algorithms is more vulnerable to such hindrances.

  • Flexible Technology, Complete Suite of Products including High-Performing Iris Cameras

IriTech focuses on continuing innovation in iris identification, delivering modular software and hardware products in an open business model, and addressing markets ranging from national solutions to individual mobile devices. Meanwhile the iris acquisition camera is a key component of any solution, and can often be a determining factor in overall affordability. IriTech has made great advancement in high-performance low-cost iris acquisition cameras, implementing such capabilities as automated quality-based image acquisition, fast capture and standards-compliant images, in binocular and monocular configurations.

  • Unrivalled Price Competitiveness

IriTech introduces an Industry Disruptive Pricing strategy which will break down one of the biggest barriers to the widespread permeation and adoption of iris technology. This is executable since IriTech holds its own core iris technology and a privilege for the customers who will share the success with IriTech with IriTech’s combination of competitive solution and price.

  • Tried-and-True Technology, Tested and Approved by World-Renowned Companies

The excellence of IriTech’s world class Iris Identification technology has been well noted by a series of global heavyweights including Lockheed Martin and has led us into partnership with them.

  • IriTech Secured STQC Certification for India’s UID Project, the Largest Biometric Project in History.

IriTech is the first and so far the only iris vendor that got certified by STQC for three flagship iris cameras used in the UID’s Authentication market.