There is a great divide when it comes to guns. After the devastating Newtown massacre that left 20 elementary students dead, the debate over gun control became heated, with a call for more safety. Gun enthusiasts argue that firearms are safe when the owner is properly trained, while those opposed feel we need stricter laws. Whether you’re anti-gun or a card carrying member of the NRA, there is one thing everyone can agree on: guns in the wrong hands make them exponentially more dangerous. It could be a child or criminal that makes the gun turn even more deadly because of lack of experience and malicious intentions, respectively. Smartguns may be the answer to increased firearm safety.
The idea behind Smartgun technology is that the gun will only be able to fire if it is in the hands of the registered user. We’ve seen this innovation in movies, but the truth is that this technology exists. Grip pattern detection and biometrics can discern whether the person firing the gun is the registered owner, who are the only ones able to fire it.
An Irish company, TriggerSmart, has already patented a smartgun that has been deemed childproof. This weapon has a component on it that works in conjunction with a “safe zone” feature, created to be set up in schools. A force field is activated that disables any TriggerSmart gun that enters that safe zone. The founder of the company has been having difficulty getting people to buy into this idea.
More About Smartgun Technology
Since around 2000, New Jersey Institute of Technology has been one of the earliest developers of smartgun technology. They use Dynamic Grip Recognition, made up of 32 sensors in the grip. Much like voice recognition technology, the grip is trained to recognize a specific persons holding pattern profile, so it can decipher between users who are authorized or unauthorized to use the weapon.
While the idea is well intentioned, smart guns have been met with much opposition. Owners who have guns in their home for self-defense argue that smartguns are not sufficient for protection. Experts on fingerprint readers and the like are well aware that these devices, built for convenience are not reliable enough to bet your life on their ability to work 100% of the time.
The technology, which involves a computer chip that is supposed to read a palm print, radio wave or other form of identification is having difficulty being made. When the gun is being used in an area close to gasses, gunpowder explosions and lead particles, there will be interference affecting how accurate the smartgun will work. There has also been the idea brought up that if the guns get too smart, could they get hacked into? Since the technology is not completely reliable, it has not been recommended yet for law enforcement, but rallied for in home use. Time will tell if we start to get smarter guns.