Chapter 6Introduction to Iris Biometrics 1
The human iris is the colored area visible between the sclera (white area) and the pupil. Formation of the iris begins during the third month of our embryonic life. A front-on view of the iris is shown in Figure 6.1. From birth, the texture of the iris constitutes a stable pattern, although the color continues to develop until puberty [WOL 76, WIL 97]. The texture of the iris consists of a network of thin tubes, filaments, hollows, and striae that make it very attractive for use as a biometric for identifying individuals (Figure 6.1).
Iris recognition is a fairly recent biometric modality having only really emerged in the 1980s, mainly through the work of John Daugman [DAU 94, DAU 93]. In fact, several developments have made the iris one of the most successful biometric modalities. Specifically, the iris is the only visible human organ, whose characteristics remain invariant during a lifecycle, except for some pathological cases. In terms of person recognition, several algorithms using digital image processing of the iris have been proposed. More precisely, after the acquisition phase, a specific signature is encoded to provide a biometric template that can be used, either for identification or for authentication purposes.
This chapter is particularly suitable for beginners who are interested in iris biometrics. It is structured as follows: in section 6.2, we describe the overall architecture of an iris biometric ...