This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

March 31, 1999

Iris Identification

276 days until January 1, 2000

An article in the January 1999 issue of Discover Magazine reports that John Daugman, a computer scientist at Cambridge University, has developed an identification system that scans and recognizes the unique patterns in a person's iris—the colored part of the eye.

Daugman's camera uses infrared light to image the iris and then creates a digital code based on the iris' fiber pattern. Daugman notes that his device should not be confused with a retinal scanner, which examines the blood vessel patterns at the back of the eye. That technology requires the user to put his eye right up to the lens of a camera. Daugman's scanner can be used by someone standing up to three feet away. The device has performed flawlessly in 30 million tests, scanning as many as 100,000 iris codes a second, and can't be fooled by photos.

Imagine the potential uses of Daugman's technology. Police mug shots will take on a whole new dimension that will complement DNA testing and other means of identification. Enhancement of security cameras in banks, retail stores, airports, and numerous other locations will allow iris pattern identification of suspicious persons. Computer digitizing and databank management would allow instant identification. Location tags in the programming, combined with internet power, could effectively track people around the world. We could see a sort of global positioning system to find people wherever they are.

Corporate and school security could move to a new level. Forget your ID card today? No problem, we can confirm who you are. Airport check-in? Automatic. When hand-held scanning units are developed, you won't even need your driver's license for routine traffic stops. Underage drinking and cigarette purchasing won't be possible with those ubiquitous fake IDs. Medical records management could be enhanced. Credit cards may carry photos with iris readability that can be checked by banks or retailers concerned about checking your validity before you use your card.

Will we see this usage in our lifetimes? Will the fear of "big-brotherism" block application of Daugman's technology? We don't have the answers on this one.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

Our author Joyce gets quoted in TIME Magazine and other national media on a regular basis. You can, too! Sign up for You will be found by the news media and in Google search: 1. Through your personal search-engine-optimized press room by 39 topics you choose; 2. By news releases pushed out 10 ways including Google News; 3. Be found in the 2020 printed Yearbook of Experts, Authorities & Spokespersons. Save 15% when you register by October 31st @

The Association of Professional Futurists proudly presents its annual online learning experiences on Full Spectrum Futures. Network with leading futurists from all over the world. And best of all, it's free to attend, though contributions are encouraged to help defray costs. For more information, visit here.

Excellent translation services from English, French, or German into Spanish. Especially well-versed in medicine/pharma and automobile industries. 5-year Bachelor Degree in Translation. Also editing and proofreading of all kinds of Spanish language documents. Flexible rates, depending on number of words, degree of difficulty/technicality, and turnaround. For an instant quote email Mariana Campora Lesti at or contact her on SKYPE at marianacampora.

To read this Herman Trend Alert on the web:

Herman Trend Alerts are produced by the Herman Group, strategic business futurists, Certified Management Consultants, authors, and professional speakers.

New subscribers are always welcome. There is no charge for this public service. The Herman Trend Alert is read by over 30,000 people in 90 countries, including other websites and printed periodicals. Click here to sign up for the Herman Trend Alert.

Do you enjoy receiving this weekly e-mail update? Contact us about our co-branded Herman Trend Alert service.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to weekly Herman Trend Alert
View this week's Herman Trend Alert
Archived Weekly Herman Trend Alerts


[ Home · About · Products · Resources · Media ]


7112 Viridian Lane
Austin, TX 78739
Voice: 336-210-3548
Toll Free in US & Canada: 800-227-3566

  © The Herman Group. All rights reserved.

Web site design by WebEditor Design Services, Inc.