In a sign of just how backed up our patent system is, Sony was finally awarded a series of claims for a vein-reading mouse it filed back in January of 2009. The idea is to use an image of the blood vessels in your index finger as an authentication system. But, instead of unlocking a PC, the identity would be associated with a set of preferences -- automatically boosting contrast and text size on a screen for the elderly. While the patented claims apply exclusively to computer mice, Sony envisions vein readers everywhere, personalizing and simplifying life for the aging... even in the bathroom. Another embodiment of the system involves scanning a persons finger as they turn the doorknob to the lavatory. Once authenticated, data is sent to the toilet which automatically lifts the seat, then adjusts the force and angle of the bidet based on your preferences. Once again, Japan proves why it's winning the race in toilet technology.