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Iris recognition is an automated method of biometric identification that uses mathematical pattern-recognition techniques on video images of one or both of the irises of an individual's eyes, whose complex random patterns are unique, stable, and can be seen from some distance. It is currently the most secure form of biometric technology. 

 

Not to be confused with retinal scanning which is an now obsolete technology, iris scanning uses a built in video camera to obtain images of the iris which are visible externally. Conceptually similar to that of fingerprints, the intricate structures of the iris in the image will then be used to compare with those stored in the database for authentication purposes.

 

The advantages of iris scanning are as such:

 

1) Owing to its position in the eye and the fact that it is protected by the cornea, it is not subjected to the same kind of wear and tear as fingerprints. Therefore, it is more recognisable than fingerprints and the failure rate is considerably lower. 

 

2) Due to the many layers of textures in the iris that are formed during embryonic gestation, the iris is unique to each individual and hence it is near impossible for any false readings.

 

3) Contact with an external device (like a fingerprint reader) is not required, and hygiene levels can be maintained especially for places like hospitals or bio-medical plants where contactless devices are suitable to prevent the spreading of germs.   

 

4) It can be read through clear spectacles and contact lenses as well.