Forget IDs, your eyes are enough
HYDERABAD, OCTOBER 21, 2005 12:08:48 PM

HYDERABAD: Forget the attendance register or even the swipe card. Iris recognition is the in-thing. More and more employers are using this technology to record attendance of its employees and also for personal identification.

The AP Secretariat took the lead in installing iris recognition-based biometric access-control system in one of its blocks last year. Now, in as many as 30 facilities, both in the private and public sector, this system has been adopted. The National Hydro Electric Power Corporation, Gail, and NTPC are among the PSUs which are making use of iris recognition at some of their facilities.

Iris technology combines computer vision, pattern recognition, statistical inference and optics. Its purpose is real-time, high confidence recognition of a person’s identity by mathematical analysis of the random patterns that are visible within the iris of an eye from some distance. Iris is a protected internal organ whose random texture is stable throughout life, it can serve as a kind of living passport or living password that one need not remember but can always present.

The technology is soon to be used to record the attendance of home guards in Delhi. Digital pictures of the irises of the 2,500 home guards have been taken and stored in a central server.

Soon, when a home guard reports for work at the 135 police stations in Delhi, he will have to stand in front of a device which recognizes his iris and marks his attendance. This will make director-general Kiran Bedi’s job of monitoring the home guards easy.

"It takes less than two seconds to check the iris of a person against a data bank of one crore images," says Sreeni Tripuraneni, president of an informatics company that is creating the facility.

"Iris recognition technology has been recommended for the international airport coming up at Shamshabad," a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) official said.

The major applications of this technology so far have been aviation security, controlling access to restricted areas at airports, database and computer login, access to buildings and homes.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is considering using such a facility at its airports in the country not just for access control but also for facilitating quicker clearance of frequent-flyers whose iris images would be recorded in a data base.

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