A group of researchers at the Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology in Tokyo has developed a car seat [JP, PDF] that can identify drivers when sitting down. The trick is that the system measures the pressure people apply on the seat through a set of 360 sensors.
Each sensor is measuring pressure by its own and sends the information to a laptop, which aggregates the information to show key data like the highest value of pressure, area of contact on the seat (see below), and other factors. According to its makers, the system was able to identify drivers with 98% accuracy during experiments.
According to a recent report in Japanese business daily The Nikkei, the research team now aims at working together with car companies to commercialize the technology as effective anti-theft systems in two to three years. Development at the institute started last year.