While we may have heard the old human adage, every human being is unique, biometrics scanning makes it real and useful. It uses the unique attributes of human beings for seamlessly protecting us against identity counterfeiting. Fingerprint scanning, facial and voice recognition, and now, iris scanning, are all part of the same.

Digitisation and mobile technology has brought one of  the core limitations of the human brain to the forefront — the inability to remember and input complex passwords and passcodes. Biometrics is the answer. Since biometrics works with scanning a part of our bodies — face, fingerprints, voice, iris — that are always with us, biometrics makes security mobile, seamless and convenient.

Biometrics is now an essential feature of mobile devices. The addition of biometrics in mobile devices has opened up multiple applications in both government and private organizations. This technology and its myriad applications are going to define the future.

Iris Scanning: The Latest Disruption in Biometrics

Iris scanning identifies the iris of a human eye.The iris is the doughnut like muscle structure around the pupil of the eye. It has a rich and unique pattern, which is used by computer algorithms to derive a unique “password” and associate it with the individual to authenticate him or her. The advantages of iris stem from these patterns, and how they can be scanned in a reliable and cost-effective way.

The rich and unique pattern of the iris translates into more information content, more entropy, and higher level security of the “password” generated using the iris. In a way, if the much simpler fingerprint pattern generates an equivalent of a four-digit passcode, the iris pattern generates an equivalent of a six-digit passcode.  In this aspect, iris scanning provides a much higher level of security.

The rich and unique pattern of the iris translates into more information content, more entropy, and higher level security of the “password” generated using the iris.

Lastly, unlike face or fingerprints it works reliably across people of different age groups and occupation.The iris is an internal organ, completely covered by a transparent layer called cornea. It remains unaffected by external conditions, and does not change with age.

Solving the Security Conundrum

Cyber security has been one of the chief concerns with mainstreaming digital and cashless economy. Following the increasing reach of the internet and affordability of smartphones, the digital revolution is set to reach out to the rural landscapes of India. These users, unlike their metropolitan counterparts, lack the affluent understanding and ease of technology, and hence, are more vulnerable to security threats. Smartphones enabled with iris scan are going to make security easy and available to all.

India: The Land of Unparalleled Opportunities

India has one of the largest number of mobile phone users. The government’s UIDAI is spearheading the integration of biometrics in mobile devices. As a matter of fact, multiple mobile phones and tablets integrated with iris scanning have already been tested and certified by the STQC for use in Aadhaar enabled applications. Samsung launched the first iris integrated mobile device — the Samsung Galaxy Tab Iris in May 2015, and many other mobile device manufacturers are close to launching their own mobile devices.

With more than 1 billion people enrolled in Aadhaar, biometric authentication, particularly iris since it is now integrated in mobile devices, is going to experience a massive growth in India. As per someindustry reports, this market is expected to grow at CAGR of 31% between 2017and 2021, reaching the mark of USD 3 billion by 2021. The growth is going to be propelled by several government initiatives driven by the use ofAadhaar.

Author is Founder, President and CEO of DeltaID Inc.