back to article Japanese boffins crack arse-based ID recognizer

Researchers at Japan’s Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology have developed a seat that can identify the user by the shape and heft of their buttocks. The seat, currently designed for use in the car industry, contains 360 sensors measuring pressure points, on a scale of one to 256, and uses the data to build a US-style …


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  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Darryl
    Thumb Up

    Love the photo caption!

    Wonder if it could replace scanners at the airport some day. Of course you'd need an international ass (arse?) database or some sort of embedded arse (ass?) data in your passport

    1. Graham Marsden
      Big Brother


      "Wonder if it could replace scanners at the airport some day"

      Why not, after all, you pretty much have to bend over and drop your trousers already...!

    2. James O'Brien
      Thumb Up

      Absolutely agree with you on the photo comment.

      On a side note what happens to those sensors when someone rips one?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @James O'Brien

        "On a side note what happens to those sensors when someone rips one?"

        Buffer overflow

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @James OBrien

          "On a side note what happens to those sensors when someone rips one?"

          I was going to suggest that IF they used mil-spec components then probably nothing untoward. However, considering these sensors will have to withstand your average US-style lard butt then they most likely already use such components so I expect nothing untoward without the probably.

  3. David Webb

    "The seat, currently designed for use in the car industry, contains 360 sensors measuring pressure points, on a scale or one to 256, and uses the data to build a US-style fanny fingerprint of the designated driver."

    Maybe the wrong choice of words there for us UK speakers as fanny means something quite different here :)

    1. BentleyRaccoon

      Hence "US-style"

      Don't you think?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      .....for us English speakers.....

      There, fixed it for you....

      1. jake Silver badge

        @AC 23:03

        "I'm an idiot who looks down my nose at anything not born in my backyard, despite the indisputable fact that "The English Language" has been mutating since before it was actually called "The English Language".

        There, fixed that for you.

        1. Silverburn

          @ Jake

          I notice you say "mutating", not "evolving" or "improving"....

          Don't be ashamed about not having enough letter U's or using Z's because you ran out of S's...we have plenty we can give you. No charge.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Mutated is a remarkably poor choice of words in the context of differences between British English and American English. Mutation implies some evolutionary changes resulted in changes that survive through natural selection. Yet, virtually all the major differences between the languages were unilaterally imposed by a single person - Noah Webster. It is interesting that Americans are so fervently patriotic about their alternative spellings when they are really just the work of a single person. Words with alternative etymological roots (like yoghurt vs yogurt - where the words separately came from Turkish with alternative transliterations of the soft g) are completely reasonable. But unilaterally changing spellings of words is as ridiculous as the French banning commonly used words like "le football" and "le weekend".

          1. Cunningly Linguistic

            There's no such thing as American English, let alone British English.

            The UK uses English, Americans speak American. There is no England in America (and although it tried, New England is still not England).

            The "ish" on the end of English means pertaining to England. HTH

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Excuse me.

              But since the modern American CAME from England, we hold an English heritage and therefore can properly claim our language to be English, just as any Jamaican, Indian, Canadian, Australian, etc. can lay claim to speaking English as well. All have English heritage. Just as a number of Québécois and Haitians can properly claim their language to be French (their heritage is French) and all the Mexicans and Central and South Americans can call themselves Hispanic and say they speak Spanish (or Portuguese in the case of Brazil).

              1. No, I will not fix your computer

                @Charles 9

                >>But since the modern American CAME from England, we hold an English heritage and therefore can properly claim our language to be English

                No, you can claim your language CAME from English, you have to remeber that the reason why Americans speak a variant of English is not becuase of the English settlers, it was because English was the most commonly spoken language, Germans, Dutch, French and Irish outnumberred English setlers by a significant margin, however English was a common (usually second) language, in fact the most common first language was German, and like the French speakers in Montreal there are still enclaves of Germans speaking a dialect of German (although they call it pennsylvania dutch).

                You call colour a "variant" where in fact color is the variant, the subtle nuances of the English language (such as the not slient U and the different S and Z sounds) have been lost because when you have a lot of people using a common (second) language you need to converse, but it doesn't need to contain these nuances, so you end up with words like "merry", "mary", "marry", "murry" that all sound the same to an American speaker, but not an English one.

                American is a simplified version of English, imagine a German and Frenchman speaking to each other in English, the language will probably be simpler, often using the "wrong" word, for example it's OK to use the "wrong" tense, usually using simple past instead of present or past perfects. Another example is that you'd use "X is Y" regardless if X is a group of things or singular (in American it's expected and accepted to use "is" to describe a group, whereas in English you'd use "are").

                You can't claim that you speak English because the language you speak came from English any more than I can claim to be a Anglo-Saxon speaker or claim to be a child because I used to be one, yes, I am my parents child, but now I am an adult - personally I don't see why you can't call you language "American", take ownership of that and be proud of your own language rather than merely "speaking a dialect"

          2. jake Silver badge

            @AC 11:00

            Mutation is an organic process with many drivers. Live with it or stagnate.

            The xenophobia displayed in this series of comments is staggering.

          3. jake Silver badge

            @AC 11:00

            You still read Bede, as it was written? Does the Domesday Book make perfect sense to your perfect senses? That little Magna Carta-thingie, drawn up on Runnymede ... You can read that? Chaucer gets you all titillated? I'm sure your children are well versed in Tudor period works, such as Shakespeare ... as they were originally set down, of course. And I'm absolutely certain that you can explain, in great detail, the exact meaning and purpose of Stonehenge ...

            Before you ask, yes this Yank can read all the above, in the hand of the original authors ... with the exception of Stonehenge.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward


              I'm not sure what point you are making. But please go ahead and point out any other point in the development of the English language where one individual has arbitrarily changed a vast number of spellings and pronunciations in the production of a reference work. Personally, I struggle to come up with an example where that has happened in any language. Things like the French banning words directly derived from English is the closest example I can find.

              My point, which I stand by completely, is that the arbitrary nature of Websters work was not the natural development of the language. African French was a natural development of French, Latin American Spanish (and Portuguese) were natural developments of their parent tongues. Similarly Australian or Jamaican English have developed naturally.

              Personally, whilst I can't read old english so I haven't read Beowulf, I've happily read works from middle english onwards, including many American authors (Edgar Allen Poe is a particular favourite). I also have nothing against the creative distortion of the language: I take particular joy in the works of Irvine Welsh or Robbie Burns for example. The only thing I take issue with is when a dictionary writer arbitrarily changes vast swathes of a language without any apparent good reason.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward


              Ah, but the true sign of education would be to read Utopia in its original language :)

              That said, it's fun to see the Yanks and the Brits take the piss out of each other for their language. At the Gymnasium in Germany where I matriculated, the Brit English trained English teacher and the Am English trained English teacher were similarly at each other's throats and took it out on their students. If a student of the former was assigned to the latter for the next course, or vice versa, he would spend the first few weeks becoming intimately familiar with the spelling and idiomatic differences since "favourite" was now spelt wrong. While the Swiss and Austrians have their own quirks to German, there aren't as many speakers of German as there are of either British or American English, so the problem is perhaps worse for the Anglophones.

            3. Robert E A Harvey

              You still read Bede, as it was written?

              Um. Yes. I was doing exactly that half an hour ago, oddly.

              >Chaucer gets you all titillated

              No, but the odd wry smile.

          4. Steve Knox

            Mutated is a better word than you think it is.

            "Mutation implies some evolutionary changes resulted in changes that survive through natural selection."

            Yes. And in your example, Noah Webster instigated a change (mutation) which survived through an evolutionary process (in this case, the decision-making process of the US population in choosing his dictionary as a reference.)

            The concept of evolution does not require changes to be small in scale, or to be isolated, or to happen over an extended period of time. In fact, in the field of biological evolution, while it is generally agreed that the timescale is large, many experts believe there were periods of major mutations, followed by "quiet" periods where natural selection weeded out the unfavorable mutations. There are also many examples of traits that appear to have no value but have survived solely because they're linked (by dint on being on the same allele) to a trait which is favorable.

      2. David Webb

        No, us people in the UK, it's not a matter of English vs American, it's a matter of how the British (ergo the UK) use the term fanny compared to the Americans, not sure many women in the UK would want their car seat playing around with their fanny when they are driving, might be distracting :P

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Focusing on the behind.

    The physorg article says: "Pressure is measured on a scale from 0 to 256." And elsewhere I recall reading about the test-set being six people big. So it can discern between those six' bums and get it wrong once every 50 tries. To me it says that most of the substance of the achievement is in the press release; making this actually useful will take "more research" and "more funding". Lots of it, of course.

    Personally I'm not fond of biometrics, and frankly the enthousiasm its proponents put into it isn't all that rational. Interesting toys, but even if highly precise and accurate, still not all that useful. Less useful, at the very least, than the fervour of the proponents would have you believe. Simply because of what happens when the tech gets it wrong, as it --real world inputs here-- inevitably will at some point.

    Not to mention that the quoted numbers in the release look better than they are.

    1. Silverburn
      Thumb Up



      Biggest problem with biometrics, is what we humans like to do to the bio part, either through accident, preventative medicine or plain ol' individualism. Piercing, tattoos, contacts, glasses, fillings/replacement teeth, clothing, scarring, burns, surgery, prosthetics etc etc.

      I'd probably have failed 'login' yesterday if this device was installed in cars; 3 days of gluttony, followed by layering up to go skiing.

      1. Steve Knox

        Or in the case of this biometric,

        more or less, eating more, or less.

        1. perlcat

          If I am allowed to select test subjects...

          I will volunteer to do the "hands-on" portion of the testing.

  5. LaeMing


    I will patent my own version based on a biometric scan of the users lap. As the lap is a part of the body that ceases to exist when we stand up, it will be more secure than walking about all day with your password on display.

    The other patent is for posterial-password-protection via a sheet of paper worn over the buttocs. Could be printed with suitable messages such as 'kick me'.

  6. Arctic fox

    "The system is 98 per cent accurate" In the case of the remaining 2% the system.....

    ..........cannot tell your arse from your elbow.

  7. P. Lee Silver badge

    From the "What could possibly go wrong?" file:

    The chair's sensors need electricity to function, but fortunately, it is located near a desk with mains power....

    1. skeptical i

      Shurely they're gas-powered?


    2. perlcat

      re: "What could possibly go wrong""

      "The chair's sensors need electricity to function, but fortunately, it is located near a desk with mains power...."

      This sounds like a job for...


  8. skeptical i

    "Been enjoying a few donuts, haven't we, Dave."

    Mmmmm, donuts.

  9. Supplicant

    Only a matter of time

    until your password gets cracked.

  10. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

    Is someone trying to tell me something?

    Top of the related articles: "IBM: 'Your PC will read your mind by 2016'"

  11. Whistledink

    I know the author was attempting to be witty and/or snarky, but all the ass jokes come off as crude and amateurish.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Not to say misleading...

      Some of those benighted citizens of ex colonies too inept ever to have made themselves their own language should consider the real meaning of fanny. "Fanny fingerprint" indeed!

      1. jake Silver badge

        Well ... "two countries separated by a common language", and all that.

        Then you bring the Japanese into it, and all bets are off ... We live in a multi-cultural world. Instead of vilifying, vive la différence!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Oh well...

          No more attempts at humour from me then - sigh.

          1. jake Silver badge


            Humor: Good.

            Looking down at other races/cultures/dialects/whatever, for whatever reason: Bad.

            We all breathe oxygen, we all bleed red. People are people, world-wide. Race, creed, colo(u)r, etc., don't matter in day-to-day life. Getting on with what is locally available does.

            Anyone who doesn't believe this simple concept is a part of the problem ...

            1. Silverburn

              I am the problem

              I'm still annoyed when visiting the colonies, that "Imperialism" is no longer an acceptable answer to "Reason for visit"...

            2. No, I will not fix your computer


              >>we all bleed red

              Not all, people who suffer from sulfhemoglobinemia bleed green and quite frankly, your biggotted approach to separating those who have a different blood coloUr is quite disturbing.

    2. Bassey

      Re: Whistledink

      "all the ass jokes come off as ... amateurish"

      You know some professional ass-joke writers?

    3. Steve Knox


      "... all the ass jokes come off as crude and amateurish."

      Crude I'll give you, but I know from years of reading this rag that it is definitely not amateurish. If any group of people have taken crudity to professional levels, it's Reg hacks.

      Amateurish is more like dragging your icons into the comments box rather than just clicking on them, which is all that is necessary. Indeed, if you'd previewed before submitting your comment,

      you'd have seen the extraneous URL as text, viz:

  12. This Side Up


    "Only a matter of time until your password gets cracked."

    Shouldn't that be "assword"?

    But seriously though ... why use 256 sensors, a processor and loads of interfacing hardware to do what you could easily do with a knob? Or just have a setting on the electronic key so your seating position is already set by the time you get in.

    1. Supplicant

      @This side up

      " why use 256 sensors, a processor and loads of interfacing hardware to do what you could easily do with a knob? "

      In other words, never use your arse for a task you can do with your knob.

  13. Elmer Phud

    Blackadder strikes again?

    As soon as I raed the atricle only one thing came to mind:

    "Edmund: Ah, Melchett -- late, I see, to avoid the early drinking. Oh, Melchy, you really are a beginner -- you're not even wearing a pair of comedy breasts!

    Melchett: [opens his coat to reveal gold false breasts] Au contraire, Blackadder..."

    We are already inundated with comedy bum cheeks so a small step further would be no big deal. Plus there is the possibility of Bulgarian Bum Bags.

    Not sure what the car makers would do with so many of thier customers apparently beng Kate Middleton.

  14. AndrueC Silver badge

    I think the detractors are giving this invention something of a bum rap :)

  15. davcefai

    The system was unable to identify your arse.

    Will a failed login result in the user being ejected? Padded ceilings anybody?

  16. El Zorro
    Black Helicopters

    and in Hollywood

    Somehow I don't think the '96 film version of mission impossible would have done so well if Tom Cruise had to carabiner in and whip out a prosthetic arse to circumnavigate Langley security and steal the NOC list.

  17. Swarthy

    Can this export the sensor output?

    I'm guessing, based on each sensor being a value between 0-255 it would store it as Ass-cii?

  18. Blubster


    to stop computer hackers placing a pad of soft clay on a seat such as those in the company cafe, inviting the chosen computer user/victim to sit down for a cup of tea (say) then using the bumprint to fashion a pair of fake buttocks out of latex or somesuch rubber substitute, donning the aforementioned latex buttocks and waiting for the computer user to leave before commandeering his PC?

  19. K. Adams

    "One of the advantages ... is that it’s less awkward than other ... biometric technology."

    Uhh, no...

    There's no reason for any computers, other than perhaps the ones owned by my doctor and dietician, to know the mass and geometric arrangement of my backside.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Windows login

    A pane in the ass ?

  21. Tom Cooke

    @Reason for visit "Imperialism"

    Likely apocryphal, but I guess many of us have heard the story of the guy filling in an Australian port-of-entry form; under "Criminal record:" he wrote "I didn't think one was still required".

    Story goes he was put back on the plane.....

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New Resource Action Method

    So if your boss gives you a kick in the derriere, you are immediately unemployed since your chair no longer recognizes your rear.

    And if you can't work, you don't get paid (unless, of course, you work for the government-- work is optional in those offices. But you will probably quit from from being unable to read ElReg on your government supplied computer).

  23. wibbilus maximus

    Would this be...

    ... a speech recognition device for politicians?

    After all, they all talk out of their arse :D

  24. Marco van Beek

    What about a webcam version...

    Surely facial-recognition software could be modified to use your webcam more cheaply than buying a chair with 360 sensors?

    And I can't think of a better way to start the day than mooning your PC... (and yours, and yours, and yours...)

    And why is there no bum icon? Oh, there is.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      I suppose it's more hygienic than faecal recognition software.

  25. Eddy Ito


    So how will it do when folks move their wallet to the other side?

  26. Alan Ferris

    So I can throw away my Smart Card...

    and login with my Smart Arse.

    Progress indeed

  27. Blubster

    `So I can throw away my Smart Card... `

    No - you've got somewhere to swipe it now. An ass-swipe you might say.

  28. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge



  29. bugalugs

    Has to be said

    that one couldn't be arsed commenting on this...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can see...

    ...that being used as a photocopier password.


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