Iris authentication is next wave for biometrics

Iris authentication is next wave for biometrics

By Carlos A. Soto

GCN Staff

SEPT. 14—Fingerprint recognition technology now underlies most biometric authentication devices, but ocular—not necessarily retinal—recognition is on the rise.

Speakers at the Biometric Consortium 2000 Conference yesterday said the reason is that authentication by scanning a user's iris is more secure and less error-prone. The National Institute of Standards and Technology sponsored the conference in Gaithersburg, Md.

The average fingerprint has 40 to 60 minutiae, or unique, recordable data points. An eye can furnish thousands of minutiae.

Although retinal and ocular authentication have been technically complex, products will soon reach the market for unassisted end-user enrollment. The user looks into a small camera that captures an iris image. Software graphs the unique minutiae, discarding other image data.

The sign-on technology will work for admittance to secure areas as well as for password replacement on client systems, speakers said.

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