Iris ID systems go mainstream

Iris recognition finally seems ready to break into the mainstream, particularly in banking and law enforcement, as prices drop and systems get easier to use

Another academic researcher, Oleg Komogortsev at Texas State University, argues that it's possible to take a picture of someone's iris from a distance, create a high-resolution printout and successfully present that to an iris recognition system.

Komogortsev advocates for an alternative approach based on tracking eye movements instead of using a still photo of an iris. But Grother says that the cameras themselves have countermeasures designed to detect paper-based photographic images. And under real-world conditions, eye tracking is difficult. For example, pictures often contain reflections from ambient light on the eye, and you get very little detail for people with brown irises, which absorb light. That's why developers of iris recognition systems use specialized cameras designed to use near-infrared illumination instead of natural light, he says.

-- Robert L. Mitchell

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

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This story, "Iris ID systems go mainstream" was originally published by Computerworld.

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