A retinal scan is performed by casting an unperceived beam of low-energy infrared light into a person’s eye as they look through the scanner's eyepiece. This beam of light traces a standardized path on the retina. Because retinal blood vessels absorb light more readily than the surrounding tissue, the amount of reflection varies during the scan. The pattern of variations is digitized and stored in a database.
Retinal scanners are typically used for security authentication and identification purposes. Retina scanning has been utilized by several government agencies including the FBI, CIA, and NASA. However, in recent years, retinal scanning has become more commercially popular in access control systems, like those installed by NRSEC.
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