QUT researcher eyes off a biometric future

Dec 04, 2007

It is not science fiction to think that our eyes could very soon be the key to unlocking our homes, accessing our bank accounts and logging on to our computers, according to Queensland University of Technology researcher Sammy Phang.

Research by Ms Phang, from QUT's Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering, is helping to remove one of the final obstacles to the everyday application of iris scanning technology.

Ms Phang said the pattern of an iris was like a fingerprint in that every iris was unique.

"Every individual iris is unique and even the iris pattern of the left eye is different from the right. The iris pattern is fixed throughout a person's lifetime" she said.

"By using iris recognition it is possible to confirm the identity of a person based on who the person is rather than what the person possesses, such as an ID card or password.

"It is already being used around the world and it is possible that within the next 10 to 20 years it will be part of our everyday lives."

Ms Phang said although iris recognition systems were being used in a number of civilian applications, the system was not perfect.

"Changes in lighting conditions change a person's pupil size and distort the iris pattern," she said.

"If the pupil size is very different, the distortion of the iris pattern can be significant, and makes it hard for the iris recognition system to work properly."

To overcome this flaw, Ms Phang has developed the technology to estimate the effect of the change in the iris pattern as a result of changes in surrounding lighting conditions.

"It is possible for a pupil to change in size from 0.8mm to 8mm, depending on lighting conditions," she said.

Ms Phang said by using a high-speed camera which could capture up to 1200 images per second it was possible to track the iris surface's movements to study how the iris pattern changed depending on the variation of pupil sizes caused by the light.

"The study showed that everyone's iris surface movement is different."

She said results of tests conducted using iris images showed it was possible to estimate the change on the surface of the iris and account for the way the iris features changed due to different lighting conditions.

"Preliminary image similarity comparisons between the actual iris image and the estimated iris image based on this study suggest that this can possibly improve iris verification performance."

Source: Queensland University of Technology

Explore further: Identifying long-distance threats: New 3D technology could improve CCTV images

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Water crisis threatens thirsty Sao Paulo

4 hours ago

Sao Paulo is thirsty. A severe drought is hitting Brazil's largest city and thriving economic capital with no end in sight, threatening the municipal water supply to millions of people.

Canada to push Arctic claim in Europe

4 hours ago

Canada's top diplomat will discuss the Arctic with his Scandinavian counterparts in Denmark and Norway next week, it was announced Thursday, a trip that will raise suspicions in Russia.

Google to help boost Greece's tourism industry

5 hours ago

Internet giant Google will offer management courses to 3,000 tourism businesses on the island of Crete as part of an initiative to promote the sector in Greece, industry union Sete said on Thursday.

NKorea launch pad expansion 'nearing completion'

5 hours ago

A U.S. research institute says construction to upgrade North Korea's main rocket launch pad should be completed by fall, allowing Pyongyang (pyuhng-yahng) to conduct a launch by year's end if it decides to do so.

Recommended for you

3D printed nose wins design award

9 hours ago

A Victoria University of Wellington design student is the New Zealand finalist for the James Dyson Award 2014 for his Master's project—a 3D printed prosthetic nose.

Engineering the Kelpies

10 hours ago

Recently, Falkirk in Scotland saw the opening of the Kelpies, two thirty metre high horse head sculptures either side of a lock in a new canal extension.

Technology on the catwalk

10 hours ago

Summer days bring thoughts of beach picnics, outdoor barbecues and pool parties. Yet it only takes the buzz of one tiny mosquito to dampen the fun.

Dismantling ships and the trajectory of steel

11 hours ago

Tell me how you dismantle a ship, and I'll tell how a region can prosper from its steel! This could be the motto of this master's cycle at ENAC during which the projects of two civil engineering students ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

HarryStottle
not rated yet Dec 05, 2007
Inherently dangerous, I fear. It will always be easier to copy (and even mimic or replay) irises than the much safer alternative: the retina.

If the job's worth doing...