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Iris recognition technology

- Apr 16, 2018 -

Iris recognition technology

The iris recognition technology is based on the identification of the iris in the eye, applied to security equipment (such as access control, etc.), and places with high security requirements.

Human eye structure consists of sclera, iris, pupil lens, retina and other parts. The iris is an annular portion between the black pupil and the white sclera, which contains many detailed features of staggered spots, filaments, coronal, striae, crypts, and the like. Moreover, after the formation of the fetus, the iris will remain unchanged throughout the life course. These characteristics determine the uniqueness of the iris feature and also determine the uniqueness of the identification. Therefore, the iris feature of the eye can be used as an identification object for each person.

For example, in the Hollywood blockbusters, by scanning the eye retina to open a cool scene of a secret room or safe, we must still remember it! Using iris recognition technology provides a high level of security for sites that require a high level of security.


Iris recognition technology is a kind of human biological recognition technology.

The appearance of the human eye consists of three parts: the sclera, the iris, and the pupil. The sclera, which is the white part of the eyeball, accounts for about 30% of the total area; the center of the eye is the pupil, which accounts for about 5%; the iris is located between the sclera and the pupil and contains the most abundant texture information, occupying 65%. From the appearance, it is composed of many glands, folds, pigment spots, etc. It is one of the most unique structures in the human body. The formation of the iris is determined by genetics, and the human gene expression determines the morphology, physiology, color and overall appearance of the iris. After about eight months of development, the iris has basically developed to a sufficient size and entered a relatively stable period. Unless unusual abnormalities, physical or mental trauma, may cause changes in the appearance of the iris, the morphology of the iris can remain unchanged for decades. On the other hand, the iris is visible to the outside but at the same time belongs to the internal tissue behind the cornea. To change the appearance of the iris, very delicate surgery is required and the risk of visual impairment is risked. The uniqueness, stability and immutability of the iris are the material basis for the identification of the iris.

In all biometric technologies including fingerprints, iris recognition is the most convenient and accurate one for current applications. Iris recognition technology is widely considered to be the most promising biometric authentication technology in the 21st century. Future applications in various fields such as security, national defense, and e-commerce will inevitably focus on iris recognition technology. This trend has gradually begun to appear in various applications around the world, and the market has a very broad application prospect.

Iris recognition research institutions mainly include Iridian of the United States, Iriteck, Jiris of Korea, Beijing Zhongke Hongba, Beijing Hongan Xiangyu and Panasonic of Japan. Iridian has mastered the core algorithm of iris recognition and is currently the world's largest professional iris recognition technology and product provider. It cooperates with companies such as LG, Panasonic, OKI and NEC (such as IRISPASS&reg, BM-ET300, and IG-H100&reg). Authorizes the core algorithm of iris recognition and supports partners to produce iris recognition systems. Iridian's core technology also includes the image processing protocol and data standard PrivateID&reg, recognition server KnoWho&reg, KnoWho&reg development tool and iris recognition camera.

In 2000, China had not had its own core intellectual property rights in terms of iris recognition. After 10 years of continuous efforts, as of 2013, China has formed Beijing as the center for R&D and production of irises, and it has also been developed on the basis of many years of research. The core algorithm of their own iris recognition has become one of the few units in the world that masters the core algorithm of iris recognition. Through the use of harsh environments in mines, it is proved that Chinese iris products are not only in recognition speed, but also stable in equipment. To solve the miners' black-faced problems, they are far better than foreign iris products.

As China's first research base for the study of iris recognition mechanism, the iris recognition living detection technology with independent intellectual property rights researched by the State Key Laboratory of Pattern Recognition at the Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences not only fills the void of the Chinese living body iris recognition technology in the international field, but also can It is comparable to the mainstream algorithm in the world. In 2005, the laboratory’s iris recognition scientific research achievements won the “National Science and Technology Invention Second Prize”. In September 2006, the State Key Laboratory of Pattern Recognition, as the authority of China's iris recognition technology, participated in the Biometrics Technology Evaluation (2006 Biometric Consortium Conference and 2006 Biometrics Technology experiment) organized by the International Biometrics Organization, and the speed of the iris recognition algorithm. And accuracy has been recognized by the international counterparts. In addition, the iris image database of the National Key Laboratory of Pattern Recognition has become the largest shared iris library in the world. More than 2,000 research institutes in 70 countries and regions have applied for the application, of which more than 1,500 are foreign units.

Iris recognition technology

The iris is a fabric-like loop in the pupil of the eye. Each iris contains a unique structure based on features such as crowns, crystals, filaments, spots, structures, pits, rays, wrinkles, and stripes. Allegedly, no two irises are the same.

Recognition process

Iris recognition is the identification of people's identity by comparing the similarities between iris image features. The process of iris recognition technology generally consists of the following four steps:

1. Iris image acquisition

A specific camera is used to photograph the entire human eye and the captured image is transmitted to the image preprocessing software of the iris recognition system.

2. Image preprocessing

The acquired iris image is processed as follows to satisfy the requirement of extracting iris features.

Iris Positioning: Determine the position of the inner circle, outer circle, and quadratic curve in the image. Among them, the inner circle is the boundary between the iris and the pupil, the outer circle is the boundary between the iris and the sclera, and the quadratic curve is the boundary between the iris and the upper and lower eyelids.

Iris image normalization: The iris size in the image is adjusted to the fixed size set by the recognition system.

Image enhancement: For the normalized image, brightness, contrast, and smoothness are processed to improve the recognition rate of iris information in the image.

3. Feature extraction

A specific algorithm is used to extract the feature points required for iris recognition from the iris image and encode it.

4. Feature matching

The feature codes obtained by the feature extraction are matched with the iris image feature codes in the database one by one to determine whether they are the same iris, so as to achieve the purpose of identification.


1. Easy to use;

2. It may be the most reliable biometric technology;

3. No physical contact required;

4. High reliability.

Fast and convenient: With this system, you do not need to carry any documents, you can achieve the gate control, and can be one-way or two-way; you can be authorized to control a door, you can also control the opening of multiple doors;

Licensing flexibility: The system can arbitrarily adjust user rights according to the needs of management, and keep abreast of user dynamics, including customer identity, operating location, function, and time sequence, to realize real-time intelligent management;

Can not copy: The system uses the iris information as a password, can not be copied; and each activity, can be automatically recorded, easy to trace back, query, illegal cases are automatically alarm;

Flexible configuration: Users and managers can set different installation and operation modes according to their preferences, needs or occasions. For example, in public places such as the lobby, only passwords may be used. However, on important occasions, the use of passwords is prohibited. Only iris recognition is used. Of course, both methods can be used simultaneously.

Low investment and maintenance-free: The system can retain the original lock, but its mechanical movement is reduced, the movement range is small, and the lifespan of the bolt is longer; the system is maintenance-free, and can be expanded and upgraded at any time without repurchasing the equipment. In the long run, the benefits are significant, and the management level can be greatly improved.

Wide range of applications: widely used in coal mines, banks, prisons, access control, social security, medical and other industries;


1. It is difficult to miniaturize the size of the image acquisition device;

2. The equipment cost is high and it cannot be widely promoted;

3. The lens may produce image distortion and reduce reliability;

4. Two modules: hardware and software;

5. An automatic iris recognition system consists of two modules: hardware and software: an iris image acquisition device and an iris recognition algorithm. Correspond to the two basic problems of image acquisition and pattern matching.

Foreign applications:

The iris recognition devices are installed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New Jersey and Albany International Airport in New York, which are used for security screening of workers. Only through the detection of iris recognition systems can they enter restricted places such as apron and baggage claim areas. The Immigration Immigration System is also installed at Frankfurt Airport in Berlin, Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands, and Narita Airport in Japan.

On January 30, 2006, a school in New Jersey, USA, installed an iris-recognizing device on the campus for security control. School students and employees no longer used cards and certificates of any kind as long as they passed before the iris camera. They The location is identified by the system and all outsiders must log in to the iris to enter the campus. At the same time, the scope of this activity is controlled through a central login and authority control system. After the installation of the system, various violations of school regulations, violations, and criminal activities on campus have been greatly reduced, greatly reducing the difficulty of campus management.

In Afghanistan, the United Nations (UN) and the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) use an iris recognition system to identify the identity of refugees in order to prevent the same refugee from receiving relief supplies more than once. The same system is used in refugee camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In total, more than 2 million refugees have used the iris recognition system, which has played a key role in allocating humanitarian assistance to United Nations supplies.

The United Arab Emirates began iris registration for foreigners expelled from the country in October 2002. Through the use of iris recognition systems at airports and some border inspections, all foreigners deported by the UAE are prevented from re-entering the UAE. The system not only prevents the deportees from re-entering the country, but also prevents those who are undergoing judicial inspection in the United Arab Emirates from forging documents to escape the legal sanctions.

In November 2002, the iris nursery at the city hospital in Bad Reichenhall, Bavaria, Germany, installed an iris recognition system to ensure the safety of the baby. This is the first application of iris recognition technology in infant protection. This security system only allows baby mothers, nurses or doctors to enter. Once the baby is discharged, the mother's iris code data is removed from the system and is no longer allowed to enter.

The healthcare systems in Washington, Pennsyvania, and Alabama are based on the iris recognition system. The system ensures that patient medical records will not be seen by unauthorized persons. HIPPA uses a similar system to ensure personal information privacy and security.

In 2004, the LG IrisAccess 3000 iris reader was installed in the Cloud Nine penthouse suite and employee channel at the Nine Zero Hotel in Boston, which is part of the Kimpton Hotel Group.

The iris recognition system is used in the stadium of the Equinox Fitness Club in Manhattan, where the club's VIP members enter a dedicated area equipped with new equipment and the best coaches.

The iris recognition system developed by Iriscan of the United States has been used in the business department of United Bank of Texas, United States, and the depositors apply for banking services. As long as the camera scans the user's eyes, the identity of the user can be verified.

The second-generation ID card in China has reserved space for biometric identification such as iris and fingerprints. As early as April 10, 2004, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has asked 188 member states to embed IC chips containing specific biometric information such as the holder's information, irises, and fingerprints into e-passports.

Due to the existence of terrorist attacks, safety precautions have always been the focus of successive Olympic Games. Iris recognition technology is also increasingly being used in Olympic security with its unique advantages. For example, in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics in Japan, the iris recognition system was applied to the control of athletes and government officials entering the Olympic Village, and iris identification technology was used to safely manage firearms for shooting projects. In 2004 Athens Olympic Games, the Athens Olympic Organizing Committee activated the biometric identification system including iris recognition, through the full set of biometric recognition of human organs such as face, eyes, fingerprints and other body functions such as sound, gait and handwriting. Technology to confirm the identity of a person. It is automatically recognized by the camera for all people entering and leaving the airport, customs, railway stations, and Olympic venues.