Give peace a chance

My mother, the car

A Russian expatriate inventor has patented a car that automatically weighs you when you sit in it — and yells at you if you’re getting fat. As the New York Times reports:

“The best way to ensure people have information about their weight and they don’t forget is to create a system that does it by itself and they don’t have to think about,” Mr. [Yefim] Kriger said. “This system weighs you and collects the data and gives you trends of what will happen with your weight in three months or three years.”

Patent #6,649,848 — entitled “Vehicle with on-board dieters’ weight progress indentifying and control system and method” — is online here. While reading it over, I noticed that Kriger has helpfully designed the system so that it won’t function during “hard traffic” — i.e. moments when the car is moving faster than 10 miles an hour. That’s to prevent you from accidentally mowing down a pensioner while distracted by your car sniping about the Atkins diet.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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