Iris recognition system is found to be the most effective biometric security solution in the times of distress like the recent outbreak of COVID-19. Iris recognition system in Saudi Arabia is gaining popularity and acceptance over the conventional biometric systems.


Iris recognition is a biometric technology in which near-infrared visible light is used to take a high-contrast image of an individual’s eye. The iris scanner scans unique patterns in the coloured circle of the eye to verify and authenticate individuals. The technology is similar to other biometric technology like face recognition and fingerprinting. The importance of understanding Iris technology for the hospitality sector is a need of the hour as the world around is fighting against the spread of a virus.


Contactless, fast and renowned for its accuracy, biometric iris recognition can operate at long distances, with some solutions that leverage the modality requiring only a glance from a user. Iris recognition is quicker and more reliable than fingerprint scans since it is easier for an individual to obscure or alter their fingers than it is to alter their eyes. Iris scanners detect and exclude eyelashes, eyelids and reflections on the iris. The pattern of the eye lines and colours are analyzed to make a bit pattern to get the information. The bit pattern is digitized and compared to stored templates in the database for verification and identification.


Iris cameras can be mounted on a wall or any fixed location. They can be handheld or portable making it an ideal biometric solution for hospitals facing COVID-19 suspects. More advanced iris recognition systems are now able to capture images up to 40 feet away.


Iris scanner can collect around 240 biometric features throughout iris. Since iris is unique for each individual throughout all ages makes this technology one of the best in biometrics. The scanner makes digital data out of the image of iris. The numeric representation of information extracted is then stored in a computer database. At times, iris scanning is used in conjunction with other biometrics like fingerprint or face recognition.


Advantages of using biometric iris recognition


Iris recognition systems are highly durable and reliable biometric solutions compared to other security systems. Screencheck, leading biometric solution distributors in Saudi Arabia list down various advantages of using iris recognition system when other biometric solutions like finger and face turned to be useless in places where COVID-19 has infected.


  1. Irises are different for even identical twins.
  2. An iris has more than 266 degrees of freedom (i.e. the number of structure variable which can vary at the same time to make iris unique between any two individuals).
  3. An iris is self-protected. Unlike fingerprint or face that can have scratches on them, an iris is less susceptible to damage.
  4. Iris doesn’t degenerate with ageing.
  5. Use of spectacles or contact lenses has no effect whatsoever on the automated reading of iris structures.
  6. Iris recognition system is highly scalable. The system can be used to authenticate a large number of individuals in any space. This is the only biometric system that works on 1:n or Exhaustive search mode.
  7. The search speed of the iris recognition system is fastest among all biometrics. They make the authentication process quick and reliable.
  8. Every image is converted into a 512-byte encrypted biometric template. Duplicating or faking an iris match is nearly impossible.
  9. Iris recognition provides non-invasive and contactless technology. The system doesn’t require an action from the user to initiate authentication. The user just needs to look at the camera and identification is done.


Virus outbreak like the recent COVID-19 has brought hospitals to a standstill due to surge in infected persons. An airborne virus that spreads too quickly was infecting almost everyone through nearby contacts. Doctors and nurses had to wear medical gloves and face masks to protect themselves thus affecting the biometric system utility. This proves the importance of iris technology in times of distress like the recent virus outbreak.


Iris technology is currently used in many hospitals in Saudi Arabia for patient identification. The process helps doctors to find the position of the patient within the hospital among the various departments such as home health, the ER, and other mobile environments or in any other location prior to administering long term care.


Many hospitals in the world have reported about new-born infants been stolen away. Employing an iris recognition system in such situations can make babies safe from theft. The system only allows authorized personnel like the doctor, nurse or baby’s mother to access the room. A glance at the camera will generate a unique code for each individual. Screencheck has been distributing one of the most sought out Iris recognition system, CMITech EF-45 -Dual IRIS Recognition System to some of the major hospitals in Saudi Arabia. Do check the product at their store.