Rear-end recognition: Another step forward (or behind) for security?

A new technology has been unveiled by Japan's Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology -- a chair that can identify you by the shape and size of your posterior.

Fingerprint scans, optical scans, voice recognition and facial recognition. We're used to biometric technology providing new ways to bolster our security -- but I'm sure nobody saw this development coming.

Researchers at Japan's Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology have created a chair that can identify you from the weight and shape of your behind.

The seat -- designed primarily for use in the car Industry -- has over 360 sensors that measure pressure on a scale of one to 256. That data is then converted into a 'fingerprint' of the drivers posterior.

Associate professor Shigeomi Koshimizu says the system is 98 percent accurate.

If this unique technology were to become a hit with car manufacturers in Japan it might be utilised as early as 2014. Certainly a car seat that can identify its driver would be an incredibly effective anti-theft mechanism.

Considering that 'keyless' systems for cars are proving vulnerable to hacking, perhaps this would be an interesting alternative for those prone to losing their car keys?

Other uses are already being suggested for the technology.

Koshimizu also said that office suppliers might be interested in the chairs, as individualised seats for office workers could negate the need for security passwords. It was also jokingly commented that it would allow human resources to keep up with the size of workers behinds.

Sudden shifts in weight, or 'discreet' surgery could easily be the undoing of a security system built on recognising familiar assets. I imagine it would be rather uncomfortable to return to work after a holiday only to be locked out of your computer for piling on a few extra pounds.

Perhaps this technology could be combined with another unusual concept, the Thermo Chair -- a chair that can be remotely heated or cooled -- to create the ultimate security to keep unwanted visitors from sitting in your favourite seat.