Finally the end of IRIS

After a prolonged final period of semi-working Heathrow Airport's IRIS (Iris recognition Immigration System),nice recursive acronym, is to be switched off permanently next week.  

For the regular traveller who had perfected the IRIS dance of "Move back a little", "Move forward a little"  the automated immigration line straight out of Minority Report often saved a few minutes at the end of a long journey.

But I fully accept that it never really worked very well and a couple of times was ejected from the machine to go and show my valid passport to a nearby human, oh the humiliation !

From now on it will have to be the increasing long line in front of a human UK Border Agency official or the less sci-fi influenced e-passport gates which seem neither faster or more reliable than IRIS.. 

6 comments

  1. Mike Knell

    Too unreliable, in my experience – about half the times I went through immigration it was barriered off or didn't let me in. I thought they' finally killed IRIS a year or so back, but I guess it soldiered on a bit longer.

    The more general-use e-passport gates are the obvious replacement, although it'll be a while before we get to use them as under-18s have to use the normal lines.

    Maybe by then we'll have "Thank you. You are cleared through voice print identification.", which Kubrick promised us for 2001.

  2. kes

    Sad to see it go 🙁

    I think I read somewhere that the system didn’t scale well, as the number of registrants went up it took progressively longer to match search the database for for a match to the Iris scan..which were difficult to index effectively.

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