When the Eye Speaketh

|May 10, 2017 0
Can Iris Technology change the face of security infrastructure of the country where fingerprints and other avenues have their own constraints, performance issues, unique-ness and duplication fears?

Tamaal Roy

As modern society increasingly depends on systems to provide secure environments and services to people, it becomes paramount to ensure the security of a system through means to identify the validity of an individual requesting access to it.

This is usually established by extracting some form of information from the individual to check against information held by the system about valid users.


In India, nearly 70 per cent population is into labour, agriculture and other manual activities. Fingerprints of farmers and manual labourers tend to get worn out over a period of time. Thus establishing identity and accountability can become a challenge. Iris, on the other hand, remains intact throughout the life of an individual. Security solutions of the highest standards should not be a matter of luxury. Instead they should be treated as a necessity and should be made available for everyone at an economical price. Iris recognition is one of the most secure and accurate modes of biometrics used for security and surveillance in sectors such as government, military and defence, healthcare, banking and finance, consumer electronics, travel and immigration, and automotive.

In the cashless economy and digitisation scramble, many companies are enabling digital transactions without proper security measures in place. Secondly, users are not aware of the level of threats faced, and hence don’t take adequate measures. Currently the most common one is Fingerprint, which has many performance issues and can easily be duplicated being a touch technology. Since Iris recognition is contact-less and cannot be duplicated nor replicated as it is the most robust and highly secured biometric presently.

Using Iris technology, one can make secured transactions and providing the ease of convenience to the poor, since they are into laborious activities, and due to illiteracy, it is difficult for them to remember and safeguard the pins/passwords/cards and moreover the most abused part is their hands for which retrieving Fingerprint can be a hassle. Iris technology is the answer to work under any weather, age, working conditions whereas Fingerprints cannot. With Iris technology one does not have to remember the pin/password or carry any debit/credit cards.

Iris-based authentication of residents is a state-of-the-art authentication service which enables an Aadhaar holder to identify himself/herself using the Iris image. The service can be availed of by all those who have an Aadhaar number including the old, blind and those who may have undergone cataract surgery. India is the first country in the world to offer a public Iris Authentication platform and enablement of Iris Authentication for over 100 Cr residents, who currently hold Aadhaar numbers. UIDAI had conducted proof of concept (PoC) exercises involving Iris technology and concluded that more than 99 per cent of residents could be reliably authenticated.

With only Fingerprint based authentication there is always a risk of failure because of deterioration of beneficiaries’ fingerprint quality, especially given the country’s large farm worker population, among the main target groups for different welfare schemes. There is a strong probability with this main target group that fingerprints may get worn out, but the Iris won’t as Iris patterns are much more solid. Iris recognition uses random textures that are visible in the eye, using the eye to confirm someone’s identity. Unlike voice, fingerprints & facial structure, Iris patterns have far more random patterns.

An algorithm is created to map the Iris, and then the random patterns which are formed are used to create a unique bar code which is unique for every individual.

The latest Iris scanner can be useful in our day to day lives as well. It can be fixed outside our door and used for key less entry. It can double up as an additional security measure for mobiles and personal computers and even apps, email clients and social networking websites.

Iris Recognition Technology eradicates manual validation and proxies, encourages punctuality and efficiency in schools and organizations where capturing attendance is mandatory. It can be further used for forensic & criminal investigation, for security checks at airports and border security. It can also be useful at data centres, labs, hospitals, banks and utility centres.

The accelerated development of biometric standards in recent years has facilitated the enhancement and increasing use of biometric applications.

(Tamaal Roy is CEO, Biomatiques Identification Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Views expressed here are of the author and CyberMedia does not necessarily endorse them.)

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