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Iris Scanning

Published on Nov 30, 2023


In today's information age it is not difficult to collect data about an individual and use that information to exercise control over the individual. Individuals generally do not want others to have personal information about them unless they decide to reveal it. With the rapid development of technology, it is more difficult to maintain the levels of privacy citizens knew in the past. In this context, data security has become an inevitable feature.

Conventional methods of identification based on possession of ID cards or exclusive knowledge like social security number or a password are not altogether reliable. ID cards can be almost lost, forged or misplaced: passwords can be forgotten.

Such that an unauthorized user may be able to break into an account with little effort. So it is need to ensure denial of access to classified data by unauthorized persons. Biometric technology has now become a viable alternative to traditional identification systems because of its tremendous accuracy and speed. Biometric system automatically verifies or recognizes the identity of a living person based on physiological or behavioral characteristics.

Since the persons to be identified should be physically present at the point of identification, biometric techniques gives high security for the sensitive information stored in mainframes or to avoid fraudulent use of ATMs. This paper explores the concept of Iris recognition which is one of the most popular biometric techniques. This technology finds applications in diverse fields.

Biometrics - Future Of Identity

Biometric dates back to ancient Egyptians who measured people to identify them. Biometric devices have three primary components.

1. Automated mechanism that scans and captures a digital or analog image of a living personal characteristic

2. Compression, processing, storage and comparison of image with a stored data.

3. Interfaces with application systems.

A biometric system can be divided into two stages: the enrolment module and the identification module. The enrolment module is responsible for training the system to identity a given person. During an enrolment stage, a biometric sensor scans the person's physiognomy to create a digital representation. A feature extractor processes the representation to generate a more compact and expressive representation called a template. For an iris image these include the various visible characteristics of the iris such as contraction, Furrows, pits, rings etc. The template for each user is stored in a biometric system database.

The identification module is responsible for recognizing the person. During the identification stage, the biometric sensor captures the characteristics of the person to be identified and converts it into the same digital format as the template. The resulting template is fed to the feature matcher, which compares it against the stored template to determine whether the two templates match.

The identification can be in the form of verification, authenticating a claimed identity or recognition, determining the identity of a person from a database of known persons. In a verification system, when the captured characteristic and the stored template of the claimed identity are the same, the system concludes that the claimed identity is correct. In a recognition system, when the captured characteristic and one of the stored templates are the same, the system identifies the person with matching template.


Iris identification technology is a tremendously accurate biometric. Iris recognition leverages the unique features of the human iris to provide an unmatched identification technology. So accurate are the algorithms used in iris recognition that the entire planet could be enrolled in an iris database with only a small chance of false acceptance or false rejection. The technology addresses the FTE (Failure to Enroll) problems which lessen the effectiveness of other biometrics. Only the iris recognition technology can be used effectively and efficiently in large scale identification implementations. The tremendous accuracy of iris recognition allows it, in many ways, to stand apart from other biometric technologies.


The word IRIS dates from classical times (a rainbow). The iris is a Protective internal organ of the eye. It is easily visible from yards away as a colored disk, behind the clear protective window of the cornea, surrounded by the white tissue of the eve. It is the only internal organ of the body normally visible externally. It is a thin diaphragm stretching across the anterior portion of the eye and supported by lens. This support gives it the shape of a truncated cone in three dimensions. At its base the eye is attached to the eye’s ciliary body. At the opposite end it opens into a pupil. The cornea and the aqueous humor in front of the iris protect it from scratches and dirt, the iris is installed in its own casing. It is a multi layered structure. It has a pigmented layer, which forms a coloring that surrounds the pupil of the eye. One feature of this pupil is that it dilates or contracts in accordance with variation in light intensity.

The human iris begins to form during the third month of gestation. The structures creating its distinctive pattern are completed by the eighth month of gestation hut pigmentation continues in the first years after birth. The layers of the iris have both ectodermic and embryological origin, consisting of: a darkly pigmented epithelium, pupillary dilator and sphincter muscles, heavily vascularized stroma and an anterior layer chromataphores with a genetically determined density of melanin pigment granules.

The combined effect is a visible pattern displaying various distinct features such as arching ligaments, crypts, ridges and zigzag collaratte. Iris color is determined mainly by the density of the stroma and its melanin content, with blue irises resulting from an absence of pigment: long wavelengths are penetrates and is absorbed by the pigment epithelium, while shorter wavelengths are reflected and scattered by the stroma. The heritability and ethnographic diversity of iris color have long been studied. But until the present research, little attention had been paid to the achromatic pattern complexity and textural variability of the iris among individuals.

Iris Scanning

A permanent visible characteristic of an iris is the trabecular mesh work, a tissue which gives the appearance of dividing the iris in a radial fashion. Other visible characteristics include the collagenous tissue of the stroma, ciliary processes, contraction furrows, crypts, rings, a corona and pupillary frill coloration and sometimes freckle. The striated anterior layer covering the trabecular mesh work creates the predominant texture with visible light.


Iris is the focus of a relatively new means of biometric identification. The iris is called the living password because of its unique, random features. It is always with you and can not be stolen or faked. The iris of each eye is absolutely unique. The probability that any two irises could be alike is one in 10 to 78th power — the entire human population of the earth is roughly 5.8 billion. So no two irises are alike in their details, even among identical twins. Even the left and right irises of a single person seem to be highly distinct. Every iris has a highly detailed and unique texture that remains stable over decades of life. Because of the texture, physiological nature and random generation of an iris artificial duplication is virtually impossible.

The properties of the iris that enhance its suitability for use in high confidence identification system are those following.

1. Extremely data rich physical structure about 400 identifying features

2. Genetic independence no two eyes are the same.

3. Stability over time.

4. Its inherent isolation and protection from the external environment.

5. The impossibility of surgically modifying it without unacceptable risk to vision.

6. Its physiological response to light, which provides one of several natural tests against artifice.

7. The ease of registering its image at some distance forms a subject without physical contact. unobtrusively and perhaps inconspicuously

8. It intrinsic polar geometry which imparts a natural co-ordinate system and an origin of co-ordinates

9. The high levels of randomness in it pattern inter subject variability spanning 244 degrees of freedom - and an entropy of 32 bits square million of iris tissue.

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