QUT researcher eyes off a biometric future

December 03, 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."
-end-


Queensland University of Technology

Related Engineering Articles from Brightsurf:

Re-engineering antibodies for COVID-19
Catholic University of America researcher uses 'in silico' analysis to fast-track passive immunity

Next frontier in bacterial engineering
A new technique overcomes a serious hurdle in the field of bacterial design and engineering.

COVID-19 and the role of tissue engineering
Tissue engineering has a unique set of tools and technologies for developing preventive strategies, diagnostics, and treatments that can play an important role during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Engineering the meniscus
Damage to the meniscus is common, but there remains an unmet need for improved restorative therapies that can overcome poor healing in the avascular regions.

Artificially engineering the intestine
Short bowel syndrome is a debilitating condition with few treatment options, and these treatments have limited efficacy.

Reverse engineering the fireworks of life
An interdisciplinary team of Princeton researchers has successfully reverse engineered the components and sequence of events that lead to microtubule branching.

New method for engineering metabolic pathways
Two approaches provide a faster way to create enzymes and analyze their reactions, leading to the design of more complex molecules.

Engineering for high-speed devices
A research team from the University of Delaware has developed cutting-edge technology for photonics devices that could enable faster communications between phones and computers.

Breakthrough in blood vessel engineering
Growing functional blood vessel networks is no easy task. Previously, other groups have made networks that span millimeters in size.

Next-gen batteries possible with new engineering approach
Dramatically longer-lasting, faster-charging and safer lithium metal batteries may be possible, according to Penn State research, recently published in Nature Energy.

Read More: Engineering News and Engineering Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.