What is Iris Recognition and How Does it Work?

Did you ever lost the key of your door lock or forget where you keep your car keys? Or you might forget the hectic passwords you set to log on your computer, smartphone or any websites. If none of these happened to you, you either are a superhuman or live in a village far from human civilization!

How iris recognition works
How iris recognition works Source

We all have face this situation and practice some bad words when we couldn’t enter our house or sign in our own gadgets. What if we don’t need to carry the keys or remember any lengthy passwords? Maybe a solution that will allow us to forget about the keys or passwords.

The solution is available now, it is biometric technology.

A reliable automatic recognizing system has long been a cherished dream to the scientists. With the advent of biometric technology, the automatic recognizing system is now quite common through variant modalities such as fingerprint, iris, face, palm vein recognition etc.

Among all the biometric modalities, many recognize iris recognition as the best biometric modality as it provides the highest accuracy.

What is iris recognition?

It is a biometric identification method that works with mathematical pattern-recognition techniques on video images. The complex metrics of this identification system are unique, fast and stable compare to other modalities.

Wikipedia says that,

“Iris recognition is an automated method of biometric identification that uses mathematical pattern-recognition techniques on video images of one or both of the irises of an individual’s eyes, whose complex patterns are unique, stable, and can be seen from some distance.”

John Daugman is the inventor of this system. He developed and patented the first useful algorithms to perform this biometric recognition system.

It has been using in very crucial programs like border crossings, national ID etc. to identify a person in a convenient and secure way.

How iris recognition works?

To describe how iris recognition works in a developer’s view is quite complex. Here we will give you a brief idea about how does iris recognition work.

Iris recognition works in two stages,

#Enrolment and


At first, it completes the enrollment process of an individual and creates a profile, then it verifies that person by matching the data with its database.


The enrolment process is far from complexity and it takes a little time. Individuals need to stand in front of the camera so that the camera could digitally photograph their iris with both ordinary light and invisible infrared.

The infrared system helps to focus all the features of darkly colored eyes that couldn’t be done properly with an ordinary light.

Now, a computer system analyzes these both digital photographs and create your profile. It eliminates the unnecessary things like eyelashes and identifies about 240 features that make every individual’s iris unique. It is five times more than the features fingerprint recognition system creates.

Then, the system turns these features into a 512-digit code number. Now, this data will be stored in the database along with your name, address and other details.

The whole enrolment process is automatic, fast and hygienic.


The verification process is even easier than the enrolment process. Individuals will stand in front of the iris scanner and scan their eyes to identify themselves. The iris scanner will take a photograph of your eyes and quickly extract the number code.

Then, the computer system will compare your data with its database. If your code match with the database, you are perfectly identified and allowed to proceed.

But, if your data doesn’t match with the database, either you didn’t enroll before, or you’re faking your identity.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Iris Recognition

Every technology has some drawbacks too. Apart from all the benefits, this modality has some disadvantages too. Please read the full article here:

25 Advantages and Disadvantages of Iris Recognition


Here we try to answer the question of how iris recognition works and what the technology is. Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions in the comment box. Thank you!

Leave a Reply