There was an article recently on about recent developments in a technology that will change the world as we know it – iris scanning. In the article, “Iris Scanners Create the Most Secure City in the World” they interview Jeff Carter, the CDO of the biometrics R&D firm Global Rainmakers Inc. (GRI). They announced last week that they will be rolling out their scanning technology in one of the largest cities in Mexico – Leon. With a population of over 1 million people, GRI will cover the city with iris scanners and ideally make it “the most secure city in the world.”

Utilizing biometrics to link data about us is nothing new. Agencies have used such biometrics as fingerprints, facial and voice recognition. The CIA has been using voice recognition to monitor communications throughout the world. The most common, fingerprints, have about 100 recognizable data points. An iris has over 2,000 when you are born. GRI can use those points to create a unique 16,000 bit stream of numbers that identifies every human on the planet. That provides a unique reference to “connect everything you do in all aspects of life - for the first time ever.”

"In the future, whether it's entering your home, opening your car, entering your workspace, getting a pharmacy prescription refilled, or having your medical records pulled up, everything will come off that unique key that is your iris," says Jeff Carter.

The convenience to this is that you’ll never need to carry anything with you – no keys, no cards, no ID – just your eyes. They will be your keys to anything and everything.

GRI's scanning devices are currently being shipped to Leon, to begin full integration in law enforcement facilities, security check-points, police stations, detention areas, and eventually in mass transit, medical centers and banks, as well as many other public and private locations throughout the city. Once a felon is convicted, they will be able to track anywhere they go - into stores, near a school, trying to get on a plane – anywhere.

Unlike what is gruesomely seen in sci-fi movies, you will not be able to steal someone’s identity by plucking out one of their eyes. When an eye is removed and it loses blood pressure, the eye “flattens” and is unable to be scanned.

The ability to scan individuals’ eyes has been around for years – but recent developments in technology will revolutionize the way this is able to be done. Eye scans have been in airports for years; however, a person has to hold still for about 30 seconds in order for it to scan your eye properly. Current technology now allows accurate scans from over 30 feet away in motion – even at a run! Eventually it will be possible to have one sensor the size of a dime, in the ceiling, that could acquire hundreds irises in motion at the same time.

There are a ton of applications for this kind of technology – one of them being marketing. They can easily determine how many people are looking at a web site, for how long, and what they clicked on. With this new technology, they will be able to do this in a physical world. They will be able to tell where you are looking, what you focused on, and for how long.

How this information is collected, how its stored, and especially what it is used for will change the world as we know it. Will people go for this? I think it is still very uncertain whether the general public will embrace this technology or revolt against it. This is going to raise an enormous amount of ethical, political, religious, etc. concerns.

This technology could easily lead to a boom in another industry – sun glasses.
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Nick Haneiko

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