Iris scanning

The iris is the annular region of the eye bounded by the pupil and the sclera (white of the eye) on either side. The visual texture of the iris is formed during fetal development and stabilizes during the first two years of life. The complex iris texture carries very distinctive information useful for personal recognition.

The accuracy and speed of currently deployed iris-based recognition systems indicates feasibility of large-scale identification systems based on iris information. Each iris is distinctive and, like fingerprints, even the irises of identical twins are different. It is extremely difficult to surgically tamper the texture of the iris and it is rather easy to detect artificial irises (designer contact lenses). Although the early iris-based recognition systems needed considerable user participation and were expensive, the newer systems have become more user-friendly and cost-effective.

As the iris of the eye gains momentum for biometrics, it offers law enforcement a new tool to determine identity.