Engineers unleash car-seat identifier that reads your rear end

December 25, 2011 by Nancy Owano, report

( -- Cars of the future may use the driver’s rear end as identity protection, through a system developed at Japan’s Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology. A report surfaced earlier this month that researchers there developed a system that can recognize a person by the backside when the person takes a seat. The system performs a precise measurement of the person’s posterior, its contours and the way the person applies pressure on the seat. The developers say that in lab tests, the system was able to recognize people with 98 percent accuracy.

The car-seat team led by Associate Professor Shigeomi Koshimizu wants to commercialize their work as an anti-theft product in two to three years if automakers agree to collaborate. The Institute began working on the seat idea last year.

The bucket seat’s lower section is lined with pressure sensors. Pressure is measured on a scale from 0 to 256. A total of 360 sensors in the seat send their information to a laptop, which aggregates the information, generates the key data and produces a precise map of the seated person.

As the process suggests, the device is targeted for use as a personal identifier and is being promoted as a useful option to having to use more familiar biometric techniques. The researchers have discussed advantages to this seat identifier.

They say that traditional biometric techniques such as iris scanners and fingerprint readers cause stress to people undergoing identity checks, while the simple act of getting seated carries less psychological baggage. Their other point is that other technologies such as fingerprint scanning can be compromised when sensor surfaces are unclean, or when there is poor lighting as in iris scanning, contaminating results.

Koshimizu sees the possibilities of this device being used beyond auto-theft identity protection to a device for security identification in office settings, where users log on to their PCs as they sit down.

Their work at the institute is yet another indicator that sensors are in focus in many areas of today's research. Sensor vendors are quick to remind everyone that sensors will be around us everywhere, in the home to remind residents to take medicine and turn things on and off, to parking meters transmitting data, to sensors in transport.

sensor technologies are being developed that bridge varied car scenarios from driver only to vehicles providing dual driver/self-driving modes to self-driving cars. Research efforts are resulting in sensors that tell the driver there are obstacles ahead along with a range of sophisticated sensors envisioned for robotic cars on tomorrow’s highways.

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5 / 5 (1) Dec 25, 2011
does the sensor "grow" with the seasons? winterfat?
5 / 5 (5) Dec 25, 2011
Ah yes, I always wanted to be able to start a car with my ass.

Don't forget to empty your back pockets too.

Now that I think about it, this would be a great diet aid.

" I'm sorry, you've exceeded the allowable weight for this vehicle's seat, today you'll be walking to work. "
5 / 5 (3) Dec 25, 2011
" I'm sorry, you've exceeded the allowable weight for this vehicle's seat, today you'll be walking to work. "

Absolutely brilliant
1 / 5 (1) Dec 25, 2011
Let's just start inserting those damn RFID chips in our arms and stop this silliness, unless you're looking forward to having to "fart twice" in the future to enable your car...the madness! -:)
not rated yet Dec 25, 2011
Thicker pants, weight gain, wallet in the back pocket, wearing a long coat... I bet that 2% will be more like 15% in the real world, and I wouldn't want a 15% chance my car won't start in the morning.
not rated yet Dec 25, 2011
Aw man, we always give such heavy critiques of Asian R&D, I wonder how many of the researchers in the articles read the reader comments here ?

I would like to offer a Christmas apology song on behalf of of my fellow Americans.


Merry X-mess everybody.

not rated yet Dec 25, 2011
What a strange fixation with rear-ends these folks have. A business acquaintance works for a Singapore company that makes custom toilet seats. Precisely molded to the client's rear.
not rated yet Dec 25, 2011
None of these posted scenarios would be very 'teinei'. Rumor has it that the unit's fuzzy AI software will react with the following:

'Such abuse is intolerable ...
Door locks activated ...
This vehicle will self-destruct in five seconds ...'

If you have a high-end machine worth protecting then something like the Ravelco anti-theft device, which involves a multi pronged removable physical jumper and customized wiring, still seems like a better first line of defense.

BTW the kanji/kana above simply read 'pressure' (1st two characters) then in phonetic Engrish 'sensor seat'
1 / 5 (1) Dec 25, 2011
Add a sharp powered blade under the seat cover, wired to the sensors, and no thieves would ever think about sitting on it. case they are such hard-arsed characters, substitute with a shotgun shell..!
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 25, 2011
What a strange fixation with rear-ends these folks have. A business acquaintance works for a Singapore company that makes custom toilet seats. Precisely molded to the client's rear.

The japanese live on an island(s), that island(s) is a little less than a quarter of a million miles in surface area total.

Japan's population is ~127.5mil

510 people per sq mile is batshit crazy.

The state I live in has population of ~57 ppl per sq mile and most of that population is grouped into a little bit of hell called Phoenix, AZ.

People make other people crazy. If you care at all about yourself get away from the megalopolis's. They are the source of the worst of everything.
not rated yet Dec 25, 2011
These are actually for sale on
not rated yet Dec 26, 2011
@CaveMan: Sorry, couldn't resist. Rather than Arizona you might do better configuring an autonomous chamber bored into a mountain and insulated from the elements up in someplace like Alberta, Canada or Greenland. Positing that the ecosystem currently is beyond the sustainable carrying capacity of the ever increasing world population and that Lovelock's famine/pandemic script manifests (90 percent then you'd want to be somewhere unpopulated with minimal mobile disease vectors.
not rated yet Dec 26, 2011
At last, an article that predicts robotic cars as part of "tomorrows highways".

I don't need a jetpack if I have a robo-chauffeured limo-van equipped with my mobile party central gear. I want a robot car seat that massages my ass.
not rated yet Dec 26, 2011
Otoh, would be interesting to see bio-monitoring done through vehicles. It would be a perfect opportunity to check your BP and vitals and display them on your dashboard.

Maybe even a molecular fart-sniffer in the seat that analyzes your last meal and makes dining suggestions on your GPS navigator.

" about a nice salad ? "
not rated yet Dec 26, 2011
I don't want to underestimate the general level of anal techniques in Japan - but for me it seems, my front end still provides more reliable clues for my identification, for example in connection to facial recognition with some camera.

Of course, I can still be wrong and overly conceited about my factual appearance...
1 / 5 (1) Dec 26, 2011
Hey don't worry about alien 'anal probes', we in the words of the famous singing star Mary J Blige: "..can find trouble all my MYSELF!" We now have our own, and an auto industry telling us to just go 'sit on it'! Wonder if it detects a half pint whisky flask in da back pocket, immobilizes your ride, freezes the door latches and windows imprisoning you inside, and silently rats you out to the cops. Maybe even activates flashing lites, sirens and a the voice of Will Smith sayin': "Another on Bites the Dust"!; and releases incapacitation gas....farts back at you ... on police signal when they arrive to club you into submission for being so stupid as to actually BUY that piece of shit car.
Yeah, and I wonder if this biometric info is automatically fed into crime networks to catch suspected sex fiends...can see it now...ooops Mr Carbuyer, we sorry we ventilated you with 2000 rounds of explosive dum dums banned by da Geneva Convention....false positive.
not rated yet Dec 27, 2011
I know a few girls that would need two seats to get a full read out and get the car started
1 / 5 (1) Dec 27, 2011
My ass is pretty unpredictable. It may be a bad idea to put control over two tons of steel in the "hands" of my gassy ass.
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 27, 2011
...and if I want to loan my car to a friend?
2 / 5 (4) Dec 27, 2011
...or there's an emergency and someone else has to drive my car for a legitimate reason that I couldn't have predicted?
not rated yet Jan 04, 2012
Malta - an island - has a population of ~408333 plus x illegal; immigrants and thousands of tourists and a surface of 316sq km - 123,4 sqm - a population density of >> 1292 people per sq km or >> 3308 people/sq mile - cozy ain't it?

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