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Security Transportation Idle Technology

New Car Anti-Theft Device Profiles Your Rear End 126

Posted by samzenpus
from the top-to-bottom dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "A car-seat identifier developed at Japan's Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology by Associate Professor Shigeomi Koshimizu can recognize a person by his or her rear end with 98 percent accuracy when the person takes a seat in his car. The bucket seat's lower section is lined with 360 pressure sensors that measure pressure on a scale from 0 to 256, sending information to a laptop, which aggregates the information, generates the key data and produces a precise map of the seated person's rear profile. Researchers say 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. Koshimizu wants to see his work available commercially as an anti-theft product in two to three years if automakers agree to collaborate. He sees 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."
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New Car Anti-Theft Device Profiles Your Rear End

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  • by InterestingFella (2537066) on Monday December 26, 2011 @09:06AM (#38493410)
    Some people apply their rear pressure differently based on if their rear load is full, empty or something in between. Not only does your overall weight change, but also the formation of rear pressing against the seat will be different, especially depending on your nutrition and different days. Is it going to be able to detect such load changes without many problems? Obviously there needs to be some kind of threshold, but if your rear pressure varies a lot the device could even lock you out from using your car.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2011 @09:10AM (#38493422)

    "measure pressure on a scale from 0 to 256" ... what an odd design choice.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2011 @09:11AM (#38493426)

    No, honey; it's your arse that makes you look fat.

  • OnStar (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Monday December 26, 2011 @09:17AM (#38493454) Homepage

    Technician: Hello, this is OnStar. How can I help you?

    Owner: I locked my keys in my car, can you unlock it?

    Technician: Certainly, let me just bring up your profile... Wow, sweet pooper -- do you do Zumba?

  • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmail . c om> on Monday December 26, 2011 @09:20AM (#38493466)
    Oh yeah, who wants to drive to and from work EVERY day. With 2% failure rate, you can expect 8 failures-to-drive a year.
    I mean, seriously, 98% is a good rate, but putting it on something one uses every day is just an accident waiting to happen.
    Plus you won't be able to lend your car easily.
    • If I owned a car, I'd likely drive it to work every day. I'd also drive it home from work every day. Quality statistics aside, that's 50 car tips every 25 days, not every 50.

    • by vlm (69642) on Monday December 26, 2011 @10:29AM (#38493788)

      Assuming a random statistical distribution of failure, and a short "timeout" between tests, the overall system success rate of a 98% success on first try followed by 98% on second try means you'll only have to try a third 98% success trial something around once for each owner of the car, assuming you own a car "about 4 years" or so, and assuming I did the math in my head correctly for 2500 days. I figure every 125000 times you boot up the car, you'll need a 4th try, that's booting up the car twice a day for 171 years. So "lock out after 6 attempts" seems safe enough to only happen accidentally a couple times in the lifetime of the product run?

      Biggest problem is going to be embarrassment at having to get out of the car and try it again, if people see you doing that they're going to make all kinds of interesting assumptions about what happened to your rear last night, rough time doing doggie style or things are still too stretched out or sore back there today or whatever, so I'm thinking women would be waaaaaaay too embarrassed to buy one of these systems, even if it only happens once in a while.

      • Unless the cause of the failure was your new pair of pants, so all 6 times you try to sit down, it will fail. Unless you take your pants off in the walmart car park.
      • Assuming a random statistical distribution of failure

        The problem is while some failure will be random others are likely to be caused by things (maybe the driver putting on or losing weight or feeling sore and sitting differenetly because of it) that will cause a retry to fail too.

    • I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that "98% accuracy" referred to a confidence interval, i.e. if you and another person are 98% percent identical in the buttocks region, someone else might be able to start you car, since if the car reads a 98% match, it will start.

      More worrying is what happens when you lose weight. If you lose 10% of your body weight over a period of a few months, you're stuck.
    • 2% failure per use. Average two starts per trip, average one trip per day. One failure every 25 days. About 290 failures over a 20yr period. Say the average person who buys a car with this system would otherwise have one car stolen from them every 20 years, now with a 98% chance the car thief will be detected.

      That gives you 0.98 successes for every 290 failures. Or a greater than 99.5% false positive rate.

      (And that assumes the system can't be quickly bypassed by by a competent thief. Which would reduce the

  • by Ganty (1223066) on Monday December 26, 2011 @09:20AM (#38493470)

    Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase 'your ass is mine'.

    Ganty

  • ... so might be not the best choice for identifying me.

    Only, if that device learns to adjust its saved profile of me as I get fatter and fatter, it would be great. It means even if someone somehow gets all data about my butt, I only need to make a diet or eat some more and all my previous butt data will become worthless. Mwahaha.

    Seriously though: lol.

    • But it may be able to cope with such slow changes. You aren't going to get fat in one day, and even less so leaner. If it can dynamically update such changes, then there's no problem.
      • How does it know a different ass from the same ass which has changed?
      • by vlm (69642)

        But it may be able to cope with such slow changes. You aren't going to get fat in one day, and even less so leaner.

        Clearly you are not one of those "carry the wallet in the rear pocket" types. Fat with cash on the right cheek (is this TMI?) on payday, Fing wallet is flat again the next day, or so it often seems (my budget strategy is cash only for frivolous junk/bar/restaurant if at all technologically possible, otherwise I wouldn't use cash other than vending machines).

        • by Thing 1 (178996)
          My strategy has changed over time. Used to be, I liked my ability to track my purchases, using e.g. Quicken, so I'd use trackable purchases always. These days, I dislike my ability to be tracked by others, so I tend towards cash mostly. (Somewhat aligns with the old, "If you aren't socialist (or democrat) when you're young, you don't have a heart; if you aren't capitalist (or republican) when you're old, you don't have a brain" -- although this is not meant as an insult, I am only looking inwards. Also
  • Rash of False Car Thefts Reported Late Evening of Christmas Eve

    And the subheading reads: People heading home after pigging out at relatives' feasts trigger new derriere alarms in their vehicles

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can't help thinking of the Monty Python song.

  • by SilverJets (131916) on Monday December 26, 2011 @09:35AM (#38493530) Homepage

    So what happens when your ass no longer matches the profile? Will you still be able to start your car or log into your computer?

    And I am not necessarily talking about getting fatter over time. It is possible to get leg and back injuries that cause you to sit differently with different pressure applied to different areas when you sit down. What about people with hemorrhoids that need to sit on an inflatable donut?

    • by cdrudge (68377) on Monday December 26, 2011 @09:54AM (#38493624) Homepage

      What happens when you have a blister or bad cut on the same finger you use for a fingerprint scanner? Or you have a cold and need to voice authenticate?

      You use a key.

      • by am 2k (217885)

        What happens when you have such muscle aches that you can't turn a key?

        (Yes, this has happened to me after a day of carrying moving boxes.)

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2011 @10:22AM (#38493760)

          What happens when you have such muscle aches that you can't turn a key?

          I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if you can't turn a key, you probably aren't in any condition to drive a car safely.

        • by genner (694963)

          What happens when you have such muscle aches that you can't turn a key?

          (Yes, this has happened to me after a day of carrying moving boxes.)

          If you can bypass it, it ceases to be useful as a anti-theft device. If it turns on with just a key it can be hot wired like a normal car.

          • It seems like this is not so much of an anti-theft device, but more like a convenience device to negate the requirements of the traditional anti-theft devices.

      • Then there basically is no extra security if a key bypasses it. As others have posted, that would then make the system susceptible to the techniques of thievery that are used today. So this is just a giant waste of time and money for car companies, computer manufacturers and consumers.

    • by Etz Haim (856183)
      In dubious cases, it performs a colonoscopy.
    • by cnxsoft (2455964)
      That's why they'll do "Ass Calibration" regularly.
  • "added" benefit: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tchdab1 (164848) on Monday December 26, 2011 @09:39AM (#38493542) Homepage

    you're walking until you loose those extra pounds.

    • by BryanL (93656)

      The loose/lose mix-up takes on a whole new meaning when used in the this context. I cringe at the thought of a loose back -end.

  • I would much rather hand over my keys if an armed would-be-car-thief came at my new gadget-filled vehicle than hop in and drive him to his chop shop of choice.
    Also, to pass this "security" test the driver's door must already have been unlocked and opened.

  • by CODiNE (27417) on Monday December 26, 2011 @09:45AM (#38493572) Homepage

    Pressure is measured on a scale from 0 to 256.

    0 to 255. Yeesh.

  • In 2015, Koshimizu, struggling financially, sells his accumulated pressure sensor data to a third party software animation company. The third party matches the data with leaked DMV license photos and registration information. Two months later, sit-on-my-face-while-driving.jp is one of the 100 most visited sites in the world.

    • by vlm (69642)

      Much more likely your bluetooth handsfree connected smartphone gets owned by a virus and you are given the option of paypal ing $10 to some .ru address OR having your facebook portrait photo changed to a synthetic generated digital image of your rear OR taking a medical tourism flight to Thailand to enhance the booty to match the newly virus uploaded "key". Personally I'd LOL big time and enjoy comments about my new portrait photo, but I know women are bipolar about seemingly randomly trying to show it off

  • Ugh, you mean 0 to 255?
  • ...what happens in those 2 of 100 cases it detected your behind wrongly? :D

    • by burne (686114)

      It activates the James Bond-styled ejector seat.

      (or you use your key to start the car..)

    • by vlm (69642)

      ...what happens in those 2 of 100 cases it detected your behind wrongly? :D

      I would expect my wife's cruddy top 40 station on the radio presets, the default interior temperature turned up entirely too high, power seats adjusting themselves for a 5 foot person instead of a 6 foot person (which could be kinda hazardous for my neck), air handling system blowing air into my face (people with glasses don't seem to care, but non-glasses wearers tend to tear up after awhile of that) maybe even so far as her "set" of in dash GPS waypoints instead of my own.

      Seriously though, am I the only o

      • by sgt scrub (869860)

        people with glasses don't seem to care, but non-glasses wearers tend to tear up after awhile of that

        Air blowing on the glasses keeps them from fogging up.

    • It activates the "Probe".

  • by CODiNE (27417) on Monday December 26, 2011 @10:08AM (#38493700) Homepage

    The scene: Aristocratic antique styled dining room. There's a long table to seat over 20 guests with a prominent chair at the head for the prime minister.

    You see various servants tidying up and leaving the room one by one while a butler inspects, he leaves last.

    *Ethan Hunt carefully drops down from the skylight suspended by a cable*

    *After much twisting acrobatics he replaces the seat cushion on the prime ministers chair with a pressure sensitive decoy unit* (For suspense let's put in a scene where he nearly knocks over a glass of red wine and catches the spilt drop with one hand while holding the glass with the other, a single drop of sweat will fall on a plate at this point, Ethan will wince as the drop lands but he won't have time to wipe the plate off)

    *He quickly lifts up just as the butler returns to the dining room, nudging the sensor into perfect alignment right as it leaves his reach*

    *Butler notices the drop of sweat and raises an eyebrow curiously, he then makes an icy stare at the servant girl who set that area as she enters the room, she looks fearful and guilty*

    *Cut to MI van parked outside, a 3D printer is printing out a faux-butt for Ethan to wear while he steals the prime minister's car, it is spraying a realistic flesh tone over the perfectly carved rear* (Insert witty joke from Luther about Ethan's butt, perhaps stating that he had to guess the color and hopes it's right)

  • Just another something to break and require a costly repair.

    Years ago, I didn't go for the automatic seat belts which put the shoulder part in place but you still had to manually do the lap part. It had no benefit and was just another thing that could break.

    Am I locked out of using my car if I put my wallet in the other rear pants pocket? My exercise pant don't even have read pockets.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Monday December 26, 2011 @10:30AM (#38493794)

    A growth industry?

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Monday December 26, 2011 @10:33AM (#38493814)

    What about valet parking or taking the car to the shop? Obviously, there has to be some kind of override and as such, thieves, will find a way to hack it and still steal the vehicle.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Perhaps it could be placed into valet mode where it won't go over 25. That's enough to get it onto a truck, but if you're worried about that, you should just get LoJack. Someone stole my '86 IROC probably using a flatbed, so don't assume they won't do it unless the car is super-valuable.

  • by ion++ (134665) on Monday December 26, 2011 @10:36AM (#38493832)

    I'm sorry Dave, I can not open the garage doors and let you drive out in your car since you gained 5 kilo during xmas. You need exercise, take the cycle.

  • This'll give added meaning to the term "Oklahoma Edition..."
  • 1) Do you think this "seat weight distribution" seat key is more or less creepy than a "scratch and sniff" seat key? Ditto analysis for not just creepy, but success in the market, for example, facebook is creepy, yet also is a huge success?

    2) How long until a virus is released that uploads the stored key data, for either this weight system, or my proposed odor sniffing system, to facebook or whatever social media platform of your choice? I'm giving it less than a year. I am undecided if fakes should coun

  • I'm not sure how to go about this.. should i really be comfortable with my car modeling an image of my wife's ass? What about that Auto(mobile)IQ thing?
  • I'm sure this is probably racially insensitive to discuss, but around here a "Chinese Firedrill" is where a car full of (drunk) people at a red light get out of the car, sprint around the car continually in a circle, and when the light turns green, or someone pukes, at which point everyone leaps back into the car, statistically likely to be a different driver. Then you drive away and repeat at the next stoplight. This is much more fun in the big city than the little village with only one stoplight. The r

  • To the best of my knowledge, the engine-kill anti-theft device has never been circumvented by any thief who did not have legitimate keys to the car in the first place.
    • To the best of my knowledge, the engine-kill anti-theft device has never been circumvented by any thief who did not have legitimate keys to the car in the first place.

      Ever heard of a tow truck?

      • by mark-t (151149)

        Use of a tow-truck to steal vehicles is not that commonly employed. Mostly owing to the amount of time that it takes to properly hook up a vehicle to a tow truck, the likelihood of discovery is exponentially higher. Although the action might appear innocuous to quite a few people, there is a huge risk of being questioned or even photographed, and a thief risks having to deal with both situations. Cars on private property can only be legitimately be towed with consent of the owner of the vehicle, or else

        • Use of a tow-truck to steal vehicles is not that commonly employed. Mostly owing to the amount of time that it takes to properly hook up a vehicle to a tow truck, the likelihood of discovery is exponentially higher. Although the action might appear innocuous to quite a few people, there is a huge risk of being questioned or even photographed, and a thief risks having to deal with both situations. Cars on private property can only be legitimately be towed with consent of the owner of the vehicle, or else by consent of the owner of the property, and proof of such authorization might be requested by someone who sees a car being hooked up. This is problematic for thieves who might want to employ such a technique... they are taking a 15 minute gamble that nobody who works there or sees them will care what they are doing. Finally, to discourage property owners from profiting from thefts on their own property, if a host of thefts from one particular place occur in too short a time, the owner of that place is probably going to be facing something just short of an inquisition to confirm that he or she is not somehow party to the thefts. In fact, I actually know one store owner who once was questioned about an unusual number of car thefts (not towed... just ordinary thefts) on his property, and he ended up having to invest in security cameras, which I had heard actually immediately made a differences in the number of car thefts happening there.

          So you have heard of a tow truck.

    • Engine kill anti theft devices based on keys with chips on them have been in place for years. Cars equipped with them at the factory still show up in the Top Stolen Car lists. It's a nice idea, but certainly not fail-proof and devices like aftermarket alarms bypass the anti-theft systems before the thief even arrives.
      • by mark-t (151149)
        How do you drive away with a car equipped with an engine-kill system unless you have stolen the keys as well?
  • by tenex (766192) on Monday December 26, 2011 @11:45AM (#38494196)

    I think the wider application for this technology will be in the workplace... to track when/if employees are actually sitting at their desks.

  • Score rear ends based on its measurements. Lets you know how your date scores on a 1 - 10 scale. Just don't use voice announcements.

    Tells you when you need to go on a diet. great gift for the significant other in your life.

    Think your significant other is cheating? - check out the butt log.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday December 26, 2011 @11:58AM (#38494288)

    Can anyone see the problem in a theft system that activates the moment you plant your butt on the seat? Hint: You have to be inside the car to trigger it.

    • by jabbany (2425264)
      Well, the car won't let you drive it away. So it keeps car hijackers in check but not thieves.
      • That's great if your car stereo costs less than your car. Which isn't quite the case for most people I know that can be identified by their ass.

  • First!
  • . . . a practical use for that 3 Tb drive I've been hearing so much about.
  • They use a protocol named ARP, short for Ass Recognition Protocol.
  • by imp (7585) on Monday December 26, 2011 @02:27PM (#38495580) Homepage

    "Honey, does this security system make my ass look fat?"

  • Why would I care about this, or any other theft-prevention devices for a car (like a car alarm)? I have insurance. Everybody has insurance. If somebody wants or needs to steal my car, it's really not that big of a deal. Insurance will pay me, and I'll get another.
  • After the holidays, lots of people won't be able to start their cars.
  • The only thing I want to know is how far away the lethal response anti car theft devices are.
  • I thought it had my spouses hand prints.

    What I see is a problem with this technology. In summer, when we wear no heavy coats, or shiver while the car warms up, the readings would have to be calibrated to my body with coat covering my lower body to my knees. In summer, it would register me as a different person.

    Not a great product, unless it was used to adjust mirrors, car seat, radio stations, etc.

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