Opinion: Butt-recognition software

POSTED: 01/3/12 4:08 PM

Many people are familiar with the slight panic attack that usually follows the question: where are my car keys? Years ago there was a key ring on the market with a gadget that reacted when its owner whistled: it produced a sound et voilà; key and owner were happily reunited.

That stuff is all very much twentieth century. It’s time for a more modern approach, and Japanese scientists think they have found the ultimate solution that will appeal to the Modern Man (and Woman).

The scientists, who work for the Tokyo Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology, are developing a system that makes all worries about lost, untraceable, or even stolen car keys obsolete. Their system uses the driver’s behind as the unique key to start the engine.

The Japanese team built a biometric scanner that is specially equipped to identify the human butt. Similar scanners are already in use to recognize other body parts like irises and fingerprints. The new scanner uses 360 sensors to create a profile of someone’s “sitting behavior.”

The Volkskrant, with a wry sense of humor, noted that the Japanese think their technique will make computer passwords obsolete as well. “All you need is your unique behind.”

The writer is obviously unaware of the fact that computers, like some Hewlett-Packard laptops are already equipped with fingerprint recognition technology under the Simple Pass brand.

We really don’t see the use of butt-recognition software for getting around computer passwords.

The Japanese scientists say that their system is for 98 percent foolproof, which means most likely that they need a lot of improvements before they’ll be able to bring their software to market. According to the Volkskrant, the first cars with butt-recognition software could be for sale by 2014.

Aren’t these guys forgetting something? It’s all very interesting to get your car started by simply sitting down in the driver’s seat, but how do these people get into their car? Don’t they need a key for that?

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