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Iris Recognition System
Iris recognition system has proven its capability in implementing reliable biometric security protocols in various high risk sectors like aviation, border patrol and defence. However, lately, due to falling prices of iris scanners it has found further application in the retail industry.
The banking and financial sector has adopted this system wholeheartedly because of its robustness and the advantages it provides in cutting costs and making processes more streamlined. The technology started out as a novelty however due exigencies in the banking sector characterised by decreasing profits it became a necessity. The use of Biometric ATM's based on iris recognition technology has gone a long way in improving customer service by providing a safe and paperless banking environment.
Iris recognition technology captures the intricate iris patterns with the help of an iris scanning device. This data is then digitalized and stored in a database for future reference along with some other parameters like name and address. Iris data is more reliable and durable because the iris is covered by a protective sheath which protects it from damaged. Due to this durability iris recognition system requires only a single enrolment. Other technologies are subjected to wear and tear due to the nature of the work environment which requires repeated enrolment.
Iris based biometric ATM's are more secure than conventional pin based ATM's because it requires biometric verification which cannot be stolen, copied or faked. Pin based security systems can be compromised leading to losses for the consumer as well as the bank. Also, the customers find it very tedious to remember passwords and pin numbers; moreover, the task of requesting for new set of passwords is itself fraught with endless communication to and from the customer and the bank leading to poor customer experience.
The customers have taken to this technology like duck to water. A customer survey carried out by a leading bank in the United States found that 98 percent of the bank's customer found the new technology easy to use describing it in glowing terms such as "great, cool, impressive, fast and user friendly".
Under this initiative the bank had installed iris based ATM's inside Kroger Supermarket stores in Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth. The system used iris scanners and image processing technology to capture and then compare with the data available on file for identification purposes. The survey revealed that most of the bank's new customers found the new technology the prime reason for switching allegiance to the bank. It also reported how the customers wanted to see more biometric ATM's across the town to better the retail experience and give it an edge over other banks in the industry.
Iris recognition is one of the more reliable forms of biometric authentication. Iris recognition systems take high resolution images of the iris of a person's eye and then implement pattern recognition technology for one-to-many matching.
Iris-recognition algorithms, first created by John G. Daugman, are utilized for the image acquisition and one-to-many identification process. Most iris recognition systems use a 750 nm wavelength light source to implement Near Infrared Imaging. This enables the system to block out light reflection from the cornea and thus create images which highlight the intricate structures of the iris. But these images become difficult to recognize in the identification step. Hence nowadays visual wavelength imaging is being preferred over near infrared imaging.
The advantages of iris-recognition systems over other systems are many. Iris texture is a unique feature of a human being and it is randomly determined during embryonic gestation. No two persons have the same iris textures, not even identical twins. In this regard iris texture is more unique than DNA which is found to be the same in 0.2% of identical twins. Also the iris being mostly flat, it is a more predictable feature than a face. Also the iris-recognition algorithm has an extremely high false match rate. Also, iris texture does not easily change due to illnesses or surgeries and that makes it an extremely good attribute to store as a database.
But still iris scanners are widely trusted for security and access control purposes. Apart from defence boards and border security forces even police forces and intelligence agencies of many countries have started using iris scanning and recognition technologies to safeguard sensitive data as well as to avoid mistaken identities while bringing criminals to book.
The type of biometric authentication which utilizes pattern recognition techniques based on high-resolution and distortion-free images of the irises of the human eyes is called iris recognition. Iris is an internal organ whose texture remains stable throughout life and thus it serves as an indisputable passport to establishing identity of an individual. Today the iris recognition system has become one of the most widely deployed methods of verification.
This system encompasses the four basic methods - computer vision, pattern recognition, optics and statistical inference. By employing simple mathematical analysis of the random patterns of a person's iris, the system delivers an authentic identity verification of the person. The scan is very similar to taking a photograph and can be performed from a distance of about 10 cm to even a few meters away and the person is not required to touch any equipment for the test. Even contact lenses or spectacles cannot impede the efficacy of the iris scanner. Because of the convenience and high accuracy this method has rapidly grown into one of the most reliable methods of identification and confirmation worldwide.
Iris scanning was first developed by John Daugman at Cambridge University. He propounded the iris recognition algorithm called IrisCode which has a stupendous false match rate and naturally it caught the world's attention. Till this day, Daugman's algorithm finds application in numerous places - security screening at airports, access to restricted areas, border security control, identification of detainees and even in schools and hospitals.
To put an end to the theft of new-born infants, the iris recognition method has been deployed in many hospitals globally which has produced a wonderful result. This system allows the entry of authorized persons into the baby's stations - doctors, nurses and the baby's mother by enrolling their iris. Only a glance into the camera is required which immediately generates a unique IrisCode which is specific to that person only. Later when the person needs entry, he has to match his iris with the recorded version. Once the infant is released, its mother's image is deleted and she can no longer gain access to the station.
Thus because of its very low margin-of-error and lightning speed, iris recognition is now one of the most trusted ways of confirming an identity.
Iris recognition is a method of biometric authentication using pattern-recognition techniques which are based on high-resolution images of the iris of an individual's eyes. Iris recognition systems efficiency is rarely impeded by glasses or contact lenses. Iris technology has the smallest outlier group of all biometric technologies. Also because of its speed of comparison, iris recognition is the only biometric technology that is well-suited for one-to-many identification. A key advantage of Iris scanning is its template longevity, or stability, as barring trauma, a single enrollment can last a lifetime. The use of Iris recognition system significantly increases security level of systems because it eliminates problems like lost, stolen or loaned ID cards, and forgotten or guessed PINs.
A biometric Iris scanner provides automatic identification of an individual based on a unique feature or characteristic possessed by the individual. Iris recognition is regarded as the most reliable and accurate biometric identification system available. Iris recognition systems are also considered the most secured ones in terms of confidential information, while older systems using the secret PIN number could be easily hacked, but this system which depends on scanning the eye Iris is more secure. Thus the impossibility of counterfeiting the eye's iris in any way is very high.
Recently Jordan Commercial bank as an application to the strategic plan in utilizing the cutting edge technologies in banking and financial industry, and keeping up with the latest developments in the financial sector, and as a goal to develop customer service according to more secure standards, the bank recently launched the Iris Recognition/Iris scanning System in some of its branches to perform all financial transactions without the need to use the personal identification card for the customer.
Since banks involve a huge amount of data and a large number of footfalls, the data security becomes the highest priority. Also in such a case scenario where financial data is of key importance, securing the transaction records accessibility to authorized personnel or customer is of utmost priority. Iris recognition systems thus become the most reliable and the most secure security systems for banks.
Iris Recognition system is a pattern based biometric system, which records high resolution images of the irises, using a high tech camera, and then uses this information to affirm or deny an individual's identity. This system is remarkably foolproof because it uses an advanced algorithm to study the complex patterns in the irises, digitizing them, and finally storing them in a template. This template can be filed and used repeatedly for identification purposes.
Iris recognition technology is durable, quantifiable, recordable and reliable- fulfilling the basic tenets of an ideal Biometric system. It is favored by the end-users, because Iris scanning devices are completely non-invasive, using an infra-red camera to take images of the iris. The stored template can be used repeatedly as iris patterns are not susceptible to change, remaining stable for long periods of time. Due to this unique characteristic, enrolment is required only once in a lifetime, saving both time and money.
Iris recognition system is pattern dependent and not sight dependent, allowing its use by the blind. The system usefulness is not affected by those wearing glasses or contact lenses. The system uses a complex algorithm to exclude eyelashes and eyelid that may give rise to false results at the time of recording iris patterns.
The system is easy to use, creating a hassle free security environment. Iris scanners can be used to protect high value locations by denying access to unwarranted visitors. Business and governmental organizations across the board have recognized the benefits of this system and have gone about implementing this system in a big way.
It has been used by border patrol in many countries to stop undesirable foreign nationals' crossing over international boundaries. Recently, in Dubai, scores of people were rounded up and deported after they failed to pass muster the identification process, using Iris biometric technology.
Jails in New South Wales to identify criminals with the help of Biometric technology
The New South Wales Department of Corrective services will use fingerprinting and iris recognition technology to identify its inmates. The$ 1.8 million project will be spread over a period of 18 months and is expected to cover all 32 jails falling under the jurisdiction of the New South Wales Department of Corrective services.
Peter Hay, Director of Asset Management, said that the biometric security system would be integrated with the inmate management system and external enforcement database like Crimtrac in the foreseeable future.
Iris Recognition technology is gaining wide acceptance in business and governmental organizations worldwide because of its non invasive nature and higher levels of accuracy inherent in it. This method is used to identify a person by matching random iris patterns with a recorded template taken at the time of enrolment. A mathematical model is used to analyse the recorded patterns in order to get a successful match.
This method is generally considered foolproof because of several reasons. To begin with, no two irises are alike. Even twins sharing the same genes would have different iris patterns. The iris is a coloured band that controls the dilation and the constriction of the pupil. By doing so it controls the amount of light entering the eye; very similar to the functioning of an aperture in a camera.
Iris Recognition systems are non-invasive and harmless as it does not use lasers or bright lights to scan the iris for random patterns. Instead a high tech camera is used that makes use of infra-red light to make a scan. Iris Scanning involves searching for random patterns in the Iris and then using a mathematical formula to decide whether there is a successful match or not.
Iris Scanners are generally considered reliable because the iris remains stable for a long period of time unlike fingerprints which can get altered with certain type of labour. The iris is protected by the cornea and it remains unaltered throughout a lifetime unless it is altered by some injury. Since it is pattern dependent even the blind can use it for identification purposes.
Unlike Facial Recognition technology the iris is controlled by only two muscles, making iris recognition more predictable than facial recognition which is controlled by 43 muscles. The random patterns recorded in a template cannot be re-engineered, removing the threat of data theft in businesses and governmental organizations.
Hotel in Boston gets recognition for its Iris Scanning Door Entry System
Vanity Fair magazine reports how Boston's New Line Hotel has used innovative Iris recognition technology to make their hotel's safer for their guest. The hotel's Cloud Nine Suite features a deluxe king size bedroom, charming views of the Boston and the Charles River and floor to ceiling windows. However, the prize goes for one of its kind Iris Scanning Door Entry System that makes the hotel a cut above the rest.
The system requires the guest to scan their right eye to gain access to the hotel's accommodation. The employees of the hotel have to go through the same procedure at the beginning of each shift. The award does not come as a surprise to the management who have taken to the task of providing a foolproof security system for their guests.
Biometrics uses cutting edge technology to authenticate and identify individual using unique biological and physiological characteristics; such as, iris, fingerprint and voice patterns. The use of this technology has become popular in the world of finance and commerce because of its inviolability and ease of use.
Iris recognition system provides a fool proof method of identification and authentication because of the uniqueness of iris patterns. This method involves recording iris pattern with the help of a sophisticated camera at the time of enrolment, digitizing this data and storing it in a template. At the time of authentication an Iris Scanner records the iris patterns and matches it with the pre-recorded template. Iris Scanning devices are non intrusive and harmless; using an infra red light to take images of the irises. The method is superior to other methods because of its relatively low false acceptance rate and high levels of accuracy.
This technology is being used in banks, replacing the cumbersome and time taking, pin based, and password based systems. The use of Iris recognition is also expected to improve services as the bankers will be freed from time consuming processing of documents, giving them ample opportunity to concentrate on customer satisfaction-the very essence of banking services.
ISO 19092:2008: Governing the use of Biometrics in the Banking Industry
Recognizing the prevalence of Biometric technology in the banking industry, the Geneva based International Organization for Standardization (ISO) established a security framework, ISO 19092: 2008, governing the use of biometric technology in authenticating consumer's credential in the banking industry. The standard also provides the architecture for its implementation and the scope of its use.
According to ISO, the standard will help provide an ironclad authentication system for banking domain, in line with the requirements of the industry, plagued with increasing number of phishing attacks, compromising the password based security systems. Christine Barry, research director at a leading bank, said that the Iris based security system will become the mainstay of the banking business, in the future, after the password system is gradually phased out. She also said that such requirements would become mandatory in the future as banks would have to tighten up internal systems in line with legal requirements.
Joe O' Carroll, executive at a major bank, said that Iris Recognition Systems can be seamlessly incorporated into the banking system, circumventing the present system of passwords and pin-numbers, without having to build the banking application from scratch.
Rising security concerns has led to radical changes in airport security systems all across the world leading to a growing interest in state of the art biometric and radio frequency identification technology (RFID).
The United States is one of the busiest travel destinations in the world with more than 500 million presenting themselves at the United States 422 ports of entry. Every year thousands of illegal migrants enter its borders by successfully forging travel documents.
The United States Government conducted studies and surveys which highlighted the loopholes in the existing system. The government decided to act on this anomaly and ushered in an era that proposed to use Machine Readable Travelling documents to address these security concerns and also make travelling much easier. The new biometric aided airport security system received a further boost in 2004 when the Intelligence reform law was passed in 2004 which recommended iris recognition, fingerprint recognition, facial recognition and hand geometry recognition for passenger identification.
Major Canadian Airports have been using Iris recognition systems to expedite passengers through customs. This facility uses an iris scanning device to record data and later on this data is validated with data stored in database taken at the time of enrolment. If there is match the traveler is allowed to enter the country's border; however, if there is no match the traveler has the option to try the identification process again, failing which, he can present his documents at immigration for manual identification. The new system was tried out at Vancouver, Halifax, Toronto and Montreal and later on the system was implemented in Calgary, Winnipeg and Edmonton in 2005.
The Canada-US Fast Track Nexus program was perfect for frequent travelers between the United States and Canada who wanted quicker processing without having to get their documents manually processed every time. In order to expedite the process iris scanning devices were installed at checkpoints near the border and in airport lounges. Elsewhere in Europe, the Netherlands opted for an iris recognition system that allowed passengers enrolled into the system to get fast tracked through immigrations without having to wait in queues. The authorities installed iris scanners at several vantage points allowing the traveler to validate live iris data with the data contained in the e-Visa.
Biometric security devices have become the norm in airports all over the world because it provides matchless security and eases identification procedures without compromising on security.
Post September 11, the United States Government woke up to the fact that their airport security systems were extremely archaic and ill equipped to handle security threats, coming from across the borders. Therefore, a task force was set up, to modernise the existing airport paraphernalia and study alternate security systems, including state of the art Iris recognition systems, to improve airport security. The International Civil Aviation Organization-a government body- was entrusted with this mega project. Accordingly, the organization studied the existing airport security system and set rules and guidelines in doc 9303 of the charter.
The organization recommended that the manual passport system be replaced by a modern biometric based identification system. The new guidelines recommended biometric validation through face, fingerprint and iris recognition. These guidelines were adopted by the United States Government. Later, many more sovereign states followed suit including the European Union, India and many others.
Epassports deployed Radio Frequency Identification technology and biometric technology to create a new platform that, experts believe, will provide a potent frontline security against terrorist attacks. Moreover, as proved in London's Heathrow Airport, such a system would help in the effective management of traffic. The Heathrow airport is considered to be one of the busiest airports in the world, characterised by long queues in front of the immigration counter. However, implementation of the biometric passport system has automated the entire process, which has helped the administration and the public alike.
The Heathrow airport had iris scanning devices installed at several vantage points in the airport lobby, linking it to a central database that contained biometric information of frequent flyers. Each time the visitor looked into the scanner the biometric information was compared with that in the central database. The system was configured in such a manner that the doors would open only when there was a proper match. Studies that were carried out later proved the efficacy of the system; the queue got shorter and there was a progressive streamlining of all airport security procedures.
How does the system work?
Iris is the coloured part of the eye and it is not to be confused with the retina. Iris scanners use infrared light to point out the iris, after which a sophisticated device is used to record the unique patterns contained in the iris. These patterns are subjected to mathematical modelling to study and then record the variances, which is then stored in a template to be used later. This process of collecting information is called enrolment and iris recognition technology is the most reliable method compared to other technologies including facial recognition and fingerprint.