What Is a Retina Scanner?


Quick Answer

A retina scanner is a security device that utilizes the unique pattern of a person's retina blood vessels for identity verification purposes. A retinal scan is performed by directing an imperceptible beam of low-energy infrared light into a person’s eye as they look through the eyepiece of the scanner.

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Full Answer

The human retina is a thin tissue made of neural cells located in the back portion of the eye. Because of the complex structure of the human eye, each person's retina is unique.

Although retinal patterns may change in cases of disease or certain health disorders, the retina typically remains unaltered throughout a person's lifetime. Retina scans are about 20,000 times more accurate than fingerprint-based identity verification methods. Retina scanners are used in high-security settings, such as prisons and government agencies, due to their strength as a security measure.

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