Iris recognition systems – then and now

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There has always been some misconception and reluctance in the reliability of iris recognition systems. Some feel that the scanners are not accurate enough or that they are easy to fool. But this applies to older models of iris recognition technologies, where the user would have to be right up close for their eyes to be scanned. This, of course, is quite a lengthy process and is unhygienic in the fact that the current user is touching the same areas as users previous to him/her. These older units are also harder to use, needing administrative personnel on hand for all applications to ensure that operations run without fault.

However, that being said, the newer generation of iris technology systems have phased out these problems. Products from AOptix, such as the InSightDuo, have a very low failure-to-acquire rate, less than 1% in fact. In layman’s terms, this means that the scanner will have a very hard time not capturing the user’s eyes. This is a huge improvement over more antiquated systems which would sometimes need several scans to obtain the correct image.

Now, older systems used iris scanning alone for enrolment and authentication purposes but this isn’t the case with more modern alternatives. The InSightDuo makes use of Adaptive Optics and not the traditional iris or retina scan. It also captures not just the iris but the face as well and the two together add a huge security benefit and make it almost impossible to attempt a forgery. 

Back to the hygiene issue: the InSightDuo won’t ever have to worry about this. Why? It captures images from up to 2 metres away; all that is required of the subject is to stand within the specified capture zone (a generous 0.75 square metres so that people of all heights are captured) and follow the instructions given by the scanner. Within four seconds, both eyes and the face of the user have been captured onto pristine digital images and the process is complete. There is no touching, breathing or any contact with the device itself.

In terms of human assistance, compared to the systems which are being phased-out, AOptix products require very little. With regards to access control, only one person is needed to monitor several scanners and is only there to assist users should they not be granted entry for whatever reason. Older systems require personnel at every scanner to ensure that process proceeds fluidly. This is same in airlines, where the InSightDuo can be used to scan for blacklisting as well as boarding purposes, and in government institutions.



Those fears which materialised in the past were justified to some extent, but no longer. Older and less reliable systems are being phased out in favour of more modern, efficient and rapid ones. With a product match that exceeds the ISO 19794-6 for optical quality, AOptix’s product range is unparalleled in its quality.