Samoff Labs, a New Jersey company, filed a patent for a public iris scanner that can scan the iris of someone's eye without the knowledge or consent of the person being scanned.
The device utilises multiple cameras and then combines the images to create a single scan.
Iris recognition is a biometric identification system that requires a high-resolution picture of the irides of the subject's eye. Pattern recognition software is then used to match that picture against future iris scans.
Iris scans are considered highly accurate; current iris recognition algorithms have an incredibly low false match rate. Good quality scans result in a "false match" less than one time per one hundred billion (this system has been used with excellent results in the United Arab Emirates).
The significant advantage of the newly proposed system is that it allows iris scans to be taken without the knowledge or participation of the subject.