What is iris scanner?
Iris Scanner is a method of identifying people based on unique patterns within the ring-shaped region surrounding the pupil of the eye. The iris usually has a brown, blue, gray, or greenish color, with complex patterns that are visible upon close inspection.
In order for iris recognition to provide accurate and dependable results, the subject must be within a few meters of the camera. The subject must remain stationary, or nearly stationary, with respect to the camera, and must not be hostile to the process.
How does it work?
An iris scanner doesn’t just take a picture of your eye to compare against whatever it has on record. In actuality, the procedure starts with a beam of near-infrared light directed at the person’s eye. This kind of light works better than visible light since it exposes the pattern of the iris much more clearly, thus making it easier for a camera to capture it. Besides, it allows the iris scanner to work in the dark.
Prescription glasses and contact lenses (not colored!) do not block the beam either. Once the image has been recorded, an intelligent piece of software translates the iris’ pattern into code. This code is then compared against a record in search of a match.
According to the patent, “the iris recognition system employs three lenses to capture the image signal, and then checks the iris of the user based on the image generated as well as other information.” This other information will also include images of the user’s face for additional identification.
Iris scanner for mobile devices
Iris scanners are a lot more convenient for everyday use in mobile devices. Scans take just a moment and can be performed from a comfortable distance. Some of the mobile devices like Galaxy Note 7, Samsung Galaxy S8 are equipped with this technology.
Some of you will point out that we already have fingerprint readers. They are fast, reliable, secure, and cheap enough to implement on sub-$200 smartphones. Why do we need iris scanners then? Well, they can be seen as safer and more reliable in a way or two.
Obtaining a high-resolution copy of someone’s iris, however, is much more difficult. Obtaining one without that person knowing is practically impossible. And since our eyes are always clean and naturally protected, readings are easier to perform.