World Wide Words logo

Iris code

Pronounced /ˈaɪərɪs kəʊd/Help with IPA

The financial world is forever struggling to implement effective security against fraud. The newest schemes rely on the much-improved ability of computers to match patterns. These examine some pattern linked to the user and check that it matches that stored in its records, in a technique called biometrics. Among the suggested patterns are hand shape, the timbre of the voice, and even body odour. Fingerprints are another, known to be unique to each individual, but criminals may be able to fake these with special slip-over plastic gloves, and the patterns are difficult to digitise with confidence. As a result, attention has turned to the eye, whose iris pattern is also known to be uniquely linked to the individual. The computer scans the customer’s eye, identifies the iris pattern, and converts it to a short digital code, the iris code, which is then checked against the one stored. It is claimed that a new system using this idea, called iris scanning, can examine eyes from three feet away even if the person is wearing contact lenses or spectacles, even in the dark. It may be implemented as a secure identification scheme for hole-in-the-wall bank teller machines.

Page created 24 Jan. 1998

Support World Wide Words and keep this site alive.

Donate by selecting your currency and clicking the button.

Buy from Amazon and get me a small commission at no cost to you. Select a site and click Go!

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2014. All rights reserved. See the copyright page for notes about linking to and reusing this page. For help in viewing the site, see the technical FAQ. Your comments, corrections and suggestions are always welcome.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2014. All rights reserved.
This page URL:
Last modified: 24 January 1998.