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Iris recognition technology

- Jun 13, 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, coronality, stripes, 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! Use iris recognition technology to provide a high level of security for sites that require a high level of security.

Chinese name Iris recognition technology Foreign name Iris recognition technology A composition of human biometric technology Scleral, iris, pupil Detail features Spots, filaments, coronal, stripes

table of Contents

1 Overview

2 Identification process

3 advantages and disadvantages

▪ Benefits

▪ Disadvantages

4 Development process

5 Application Case

▪ Foreign applications:

▪ Domestic applications:


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 identity 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, IG-H100&reg, etc.). 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 has proved that Chinese iris products are not only in recognition speed, but also in stable 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 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 its 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 institutions 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 of the recognition system settings.

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 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 identity recognition.

Advantages and disadvantages


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, 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, passwords are forbidden. Only iris recognition methods are used. Of course, they can be used in two ways at the same time.

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. Corresponds to the two basic problems of image acquisition and pattern matching, respectively.