Tools of Science and Math 5 -- Digital Iris Scanner for Security Identification (ID)

In our more Security Conscious World of Advanced Technology, devices have been invented

to "read" the exact photographic = geometric properties of a person's eye,

particularly their eye's iris, which is the central circular colored part of our eyes.

Everyone's iris has a unique "configuration", similar to the idea that everyone's fingerprint has a unique "configuration".

(Remember the "Whole and its Parts" and the arrangement of those parts).

No matter how complicated or complex, the configuration or arrangement of its "parts" is,

the iris of an eye can be "mapped on a graph"

with the exact precision that a computer device can record and analyze.

So when Top Security is demanded for the Identification of a person, an Iris Scan is the tool of choice...

and in a War Zone, it is critical to know who is your ally and who is your enemy.

So in the February 2011 National Geographic article about the War in Afghanistan, there is a very dramatic photograph

showing how:

"A marine's handheld digital device scans the iris of a farmer who cultivates poppies in Helmand Province,

where most of Afghanistan's opium is grown. Coalition personnel use the scans and other Biometric Measurements

to create identity cards that they compare against a security database.

This is Coordinate Geometry and Digital Photography combined in a very useful handheld device, for soldiers in combat.

Another example of how Engineers use Geometry to invent new Tools of Science and Math.


Here is a summary about Iris Scanner Identification from Wikipedia:

The iris of the eye has been described as the ideal part of the human body for biometric identification for several reasons:

  • It is an internal organ that is well protected against damage and wear by a highly transparent and sensitive membrane (the cornea). This distinguishes it from fingerprints, which can be difficult to recognize after years of certain types of manual labor.

  • The iris is mostly flat, and its geometric configuration is only controlled by two complementary muscles (the sphincter pupillae and dilator pupillae) that control the diameter of the pupil. This makes the iris shape far more predictable than, for instance, that of the face.

  • The iris has a fine texture that—like fingerprints—is determined randomly during embryonic gestation. Even genetically identical individuals have completely independent iris textures, whereas DNA (genetic "fingerprinting") is not unique for the about 0.2% of the human population who have a genetically identical twin.

  • An iris scan is similar to taking a photograph and can be performed from about 10 cm to a few meters away. There is no need for the person to be identified to touch any equipment that has recently been touched by a stranger, thereby eliminating an objection that has been raised in some cultures against fingerprint scanners, where a finger has to touch a surface, or retinal scanning, where the eye can be brought very close to a lens (like looking into a microscope lens).

  • Some[who?] argue that a focused digital photograph with an iris diameter of about 200 pixels contains much more long-term stable information than a fingerprint.[citation needed]

  • The originally commercially deployed iris-recognition algorithm, John Daugman's IrisCode, has an unprecedented false match rate (better than 10−11).

  • While there are some medical and surgical procedures that can affect the colour and overall shape of the iris, the fine texture remains remarkably stable over many decades. Some iris identifications have succeeded over a period of about 30 years.

posted by Allen: March 23, 2011