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The world of security is constantly trying to stay ahead of criminals by developing technology that provides enough protection against attempts to steal confidential data. Businesses of all sizes, including enterprises and even startups and small businesses, are subjected to cyber attacks on a regular basis, threatening the reputation of the organization and the safety of business data. One of the most recent advancements in cybersecurity is centered around biometrics, specifically iris recognition which uses iris patterns to identify a user. 

How Iris Recognition Works

Despite the various myths about iris recognition, the process is incredibly accurate. It’s also a great method of authentication because spoofing irises is incredibly difficult to do. 

The technology is simple. The device captures a digital photograph of the eye, which then separates the iris part out in the image. Then, the image portion is analyzed to identify similar features that match against the template created for that same eye. 

A close match results in granting access. If it does not match, the technology denies access, detecting a potential fraud. 

To truly understand the value of using iris-based biometric technology, you first need to understand the science behind iris patterns and see the most common types of iris patterns. 

What Is the Iris of an Eye?

The iris of the human eye is a muscle located behind your cornea. It contracts and expands to help control the size of pupils.

When light enters the eye, it hits certain nerve cells at the back of the eyes. These cells send a signal to our brain, which then tells the iris to contract or expand, depending on how much light is shining in.

When you look at an iris, it’s a mix of colors and patterns. The three most common types of iris patterns are:

  • Pigmented rings: Colored bands that are wide and wrapped around the pupil.
  • Crypts: Diamond shaped holes that vary in size, located throughout the iris.
  • Furrows: Pale lines that curve around the iris. 

The Genetics of Iris Patterns

There are nearly 2,000 genes that impact the development of each person’s iris, including its color and its pattern. 

The color of an iris is determined by the pigment in the cells of the iris, and this pigment can be one of several colors, including brown, green, blue, or hazel. To clarify, the iris pattern is determined by the shape and arrangement of the melanin granules in your iris.

The study of irises is referred to as iridology, which was founded in the 1890s by the Hungarian physician Ignatz Peczely.

The reason iris based biometric technology solutions are so highly regarded is because it’s considered a more accurate form of identification than fingerprints. Each person’s iris patterns are incredibly intricate and unique. 


How Iris Patterns Are Unique to Each Person

There are several components of the iris that make each person’s iris pattern unique. Some of the factors impacting eye iris patterns include:


A layer of collagen fibers is located at the back of the iris. This forms intricate patterns and textures, giving the iris its own physical structure, and it acts like springs to grow and shrink the pupil. 


Pupils can be large or small. For example, the more sensitive people are to light, the larger their pupils are.


This is a naturally occurring pigment found throughout the body. It gives a person brown hair, a dark skin tone, and freckles. Within the eye, it interacts with the blue collagen layer, determining the eye color. 


Eyes have concentric bands surrounding the outside of the iris. The melanin layer is stretched and split to form growth rings. 


There are a couple of ways that collagen fibers are patterned within the iris. They’re either split and converged, forming highlights and shadows that create a darker look, or spaced out and parallel, creating a lighter, uniform color. 

Types of Iris Patterns

Within the world of iridology, there is a concept called the Rayid model that outlines four constitutional iris patterns. 

The two primary structures are Jewel and Flower, and the secondary patterns are known as Stream and Shaker. Every person has either one of these two iris patterns, and the secondary pattern is what modifies the primary iris pattern. 



The Jewel Type 

According to the Rayid model, Jewel irises include a presence of dark colored dots or flecks within the iris. This supposedly suggests that the person has an analytical personality. 

It’s very rare for someone to have a pure jewel structure. Most Jewels have a shaker-jewel or stream-jewel pattern.

The Flower Type 

Flowers include curved or rounded openings within the fibers of the iris pattern, which tend to resemble a flower petal. The Rayid model suggests that this personality type is emotional, feeling, and expressive. 

Just like Jewels, most Flowers have a combined pattern with a Stream or Shaker. It’s rare to have a pure flower structure. 

The Stream Type 

This is referred to as the kinesthetic type of iris patterns. Streams include straight lines or streaks of color within the iris, suggesting a sensitive, intuitive personality type. 

The Shaker Type 

Shaker iris patterns have both dot-like pigments and rounded openings. This type of pattern suggests a driven, extreme personality. 

See Iris Recognition Technology in Action With Smart Eye Technology

As you can see, iris shapes and eye patterns are unique to each individual and are incredibly complex. This makes authenticating someone’s identity simple and safe when using iris recognition technology as part of your advanced biometric security platform

Enhance your security policies to effectively protect your business data and keep your customers safe. For example, a multi-factor biometric verification solution covers all the bases, minimizing your risk and achieving a high level of security that brings you and your stakeholders peace of mind. 

Learn more about how iris recognition works and see the Smart Eye Technology platform in action by booking a free demo or signing up for a 14 day free trial.  

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