Butt-Based Logins

Wednesday, September 04, 2013 - 02:00 PM

There should be a specific word for the moment when you're reading an article and your curiosity about a small aside completely overwhelms your interest in the broader article itself. 

The Economist has a piece today about various proposed replacements to computer passwords. It's sort of an evergreen idea -- passwords are clunky, and they're unsafe, and the systems that are supposed to make them safer, like two-factor authentication, make them clunkier. And then, in a little sidebar paragraph about proposed alternatives to traditional passwords, they casually mention this: 

The Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology in Tokyo, for instance, has developed a chair which detects the unique shape of a user’s bottom—with 99% accuracy.

And then they just move on. Like that's not a big deal. Anyway. Your intrepid correspondent has a picture of the butt sensor demonstration from the AIITT labs in Tokyo. It's actually designed for cars, as a different form of keyless start-up. Behold:

We are living in a beautiful and Jetsonian age. 


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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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