UK's Heathrow expands Iris Recognition Immigration System test

The UK's Heathrow Airport has extended its use of iris-scanning technology to speed up immigration checks.

The Iris Recognition Immigration System (IRIS) is currently being tested at the airport as part of the Home Office e-Borders program. Individuals signed up to the scheme will be able to walk up to an automated barrier, look into a camera, and if the system recognizes them, enter the UK.

The biometric technology works by photographing a passenger's iris patterns and storing the data in a database, together with their passport details. Only those individuals who have had their details authenticated by an immigration officer are able to use the technology.

Terminal 1 is the third terminal at Heathrow to benefit from the new technology, which was introduced in Terminals 2 and 4 in June 2005.