Long Range Iris Scanning Is Here

Marios Savvides, a Carnegie Mellon engineering professor, says he’s invented technology that can identify someone from across the room with the precision of a fingerprint. The device is called an Iris Scanner. Unlike fingerprinting which requires you to touch something, the Iris Scanner can capture it at a distance which makes the whole user experience less intrusive and much more comfortable.


An example of Iris Scanning is a cop pulls over an individual. The individual glances in their rear-view mirror. When the individual glances in their rear-view mirror, the Iris Scanner will then identify them. In this example the technology could have potentially identified a dangerous suspect before the cop approaches them.


Unlike other scanners, which require an individual to step up to a machine, this scanner can capture someone’s iris and face as they walk by. With this system there are no certain spots you have to stand. It will find you anywhere between 6 and 12 meters and it will zoom in and capture both irises and your full face.


Iris scanning could also replace government IDs at the airport and elsewhere. Like other types of bio-metrics, it could replace a laptop’s login system as well. As a sector, bio-metrics is undoubtedly important. Many security experts believe that passwords and the security regime that accompanies them are fundamentally broken. Savvides, sees bio-metrics as another method of human computer interaction. 


If this invention works as well as Savvides claims it does, the government could scan the face of everyone walking on a city block. It could algorithmic-ally identify a disguised political activist walking down a city street, driving a car, or passing through airport security.

What’s you’re feeling about this new technology?  How do you think we could benefit from it?