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Iris recognition puts evil eye on retinal scans

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Retinal scans, long the mainstay of biometrics identification technology, could have a little competition in the form of iris recognition, a new technology developed by Alpha Engineering.

The system was developed in conjunction with researchers at Yonsei University's computers and biometrics labs. The group claim it is so accurate that the if the world's population was entered in an iris database there would be only a "small chance" (a very impressive bit of statistical data) of false rejection of mistaken acceptance.

It is based on a monochrome camera that uses both visible and infrared light. The camera can account for the changes to the iris and the eye, inevitable aspects of living tissue, and algorithm can account for dilation and contraction of the iris, once its boundaries have been located.

The company said that its system would be sold for around ten million won (just under £6000) - considerably less than rival products. It expects the technique to have applications in all areas of security, from online banking to remote health diagnoses.

Alpha Engineering said that it would continue its collaboration with the research teams at the universities. ®

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