In the Twinkle of an Eye

“Recognizing someone by the eyes” can be based on their retina or iris. These begin to form in the mother’s womb and then hardly change after that (in a healthy person). Iris scanners track the pupil’s response to light and take images of the coloured “ring” around it. This technology has one drawback, though: scanners can erroneously react to a dummy or a very high-quality picture of the eye. Retinal scanners highlight the blood vessels in the eye with infrared rays and copy the map of the capillaries against the background of surrounding tissues — it’s a slightly unpleasant procedure. The idea of scanning the retina was proposed in 1935 by doctors Carleton Simon and Isadore Goldstein in the New York State Journal of Medicine, but then, the technology could not support the realization of the idea. The first commercial model was released by Eyedentify in 1981 (and continues to do so to this day).

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