Research impact - Iris recognition

A case study submitted to the Research Excellence Framework 2014 demonstrating the impact of the University's research.

Kent’s research on biometrics – the identification of individuals through their physiological or behavioural characteristics – has led to significant developments within industry. At present, analysing the unique patterning of the iris within the human eye is one of the most popular methods in use.

Colourful eyes
Research at Kent, in collaboration with British company Smart Sensors, has developed new ways to improve iris recognition systems, overcoming previous constraints such as the need to direct the gaze straight at the camera. The approach developed at Kent is flexible enough to deal with multiple gaze angles in varying light conditions.

The team from the School of Engineering and Digital Arts has also worked on areas such as handwriting and signature recognition, as well as facial recognition. Professor Michael Fairhurst has been influential in the wider debate on the use of biometrics, advising the UK Government on the technology for biometrics, as well as related ethical and privacy issues.

The researchers involved in the research include: Professor Michael Fairhurst, Dr Farzin DeraviDr Richard Guest, Dr Gareth Howells, Dr Konstantinos Sirlantzis.

The Research Excellence Framework 2014 showed that Kent ranks 17th in the UK for research intensity, has world-leading research in all subjects and that 97% of our research is deemed to be of international quality.

Contributing to the University’s REF success were the number of our world class publications, the number of research active staff and the demonstrable impact our research has made to the sciences and to economic, social and cultural understanding.