Difference between IRIS scanning and Retina scanning

What is iris recognition?

To verify and confirm your identification, iris scanning biometrics examine the distinctive patterns in the colored circle of your eye. Biometric iris recognition is contactless, rapid, and famous for its accuracy. It can function across vast distances, with some systems leveraging the modality requiring only a glance from the user.

How does iris scanning work?

To go beyond an iris-scanning system, you must be able to detect your eye’s unique pattern in order to be positively identified. That means iris scanning must have two stages:

  • Enrolment of iris to your system
  • Verification

Enrolment of iris to your system

A snapshot of a person’s iris is all that is required for such a recognition system to establish his identity. As a result, in order to start this scenario, each person must have their eyes photographed once. In this scenario, the photography is done with both visible infrared and standard illumination. Infrared is a form of light used in night vision systems that has a slightly longer wavelength than regular red light.

Infrared light in the iris scan makes it easier to distinguish the distinct pattern of darker eyes, which is more difficult to do in regular light.

These two digital photos are then subjected to computer analysis, which removes superfluous information (such as eyelashes) and highlights about 240 features in iris patterns (about five times more features to compare than used in fingerprint identification systems).

After that, all of the eye’s unique traits are turned into a basic, 512-digit digital number (also known as an iris code), which is kept in the computer database with your name and other information. It takes only a few minutes to take a picture of your eye, and it is fully automatic.


It’s straightforward to verify your identity once you’ve been stored in the system. Simply place your eye in front of another iris scanner and have it photographed once more. The system swiftly scans the image and extracts your IrisCode, then compares it to the hundreds, thousands, or millions of other IrisCode recorded in its database. If your code matches one of the ones in the database, you’ve been positively identified; if not, you’re out of luck! It either indicates you aren’t recognized by the system or you aren’t who you say you are.

What is a Biometric access card and How does it work?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Iris Recognition

Advantages of Iris Recognition

  • No need for physical contact while scanning
  • High accuracy
  • Can be scanned from a distance
  • The cornea does not change significantly as people age because it shields the iris.

Disadvantages of Iris Recognition

  • Requires IR light source and sensor
  • Close proximity to the camera is usually required, which might be uncomfortable for some.
  • Criminal inquiry has a lower value.

What is Retina scanning?

Retina scanning is a biometric verification technique that employs an image of a person’s retinal blood vessel pattern as a unique identifier for access to secure locations.

Individuals can be uniquely identified through one or more distinguishing biological features, according to biometric verification technology. Fingerprints, hand geometry, retina and iris patterns, voice waves, DNA, and signatures are all unique identifiers.

How do retina scanners work?

When a person looks through the eyepiece of the scanner, similar to looking through a microscope, a beam of invisible low-intensity infrared light is directed to the individual’s eye. On the retina, that ray of light follows a predetermined path. The amount of reflected light fluctuates during scanning because the blood vessels of the retina absorb more light than the rest of the eye. The pattern of variations that result is transformed into computer code and saved in a database.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Retina scanning

Advantages of Retina Scanning

  • Low false rates
  • High reliable
  • It provides speedy results

Disadvantages of Retina Scanning

  • Accuracy of the retina scanning will be affected by diseases like cataracts
  • Cost of equipment is high
  • The scanned object must be quite close to the camera lens.

Difference between IRIS scanning and Retina scanning

S.NO: IRIS scanning Retina scanning
1 It is a non-intrusive method of biometric identification It is an intrusive method of biometric identification
2 It is more resilient Diseases like cataract affect retina
3 Iris image can take from a distance Retina scanning does it by bringing the person’s eye near an eyepiece.
4 Iris scanning can take place in physical and digital scenarios. Physical identification is appropriate for retina scanning.
5 Faster than retina scanning Slower than iris scanning
6 Iris scanning is widely used due to its non-intrusive character Retina scanning is not used widely due to its intrusive character
7 High accuracy Less accuracy

Some Useful Questions

Can retinal scanners be fooled?

It can be tough to deceive a scanner since retinal patterns are so distinct. There are less than 2% failure rates.