Smart Guns Take
Aim at Accidental
Passwords and electronic PINs help consumers protect their identities, but the arms industry
is taking personal security to the next level. It’s leveraging biometrics to help save lives.
Smart-gun technology was initially developed to deal with the problem of criminals
wresting firearms away from police officers. In 2011, 4 percent of U.S. police officers killed
on duty were shot by their own guns, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation; in
2010, that death rate was nearly 13 percent.
Given this issue, organizations around the world have invested in projects to perfect a
personalized gun—without a final product to show for it. But recent gun violence, including
several high-profile mass shootings, has renewed interest in—and funding for—these projects.
By enabling its firearm with magnetic tag identification, iGun Technology Corporation has developed a personalized gun that can be fired only by its owner or other designated individuals.
“We’re basically squeezing a laptop into a gun and having it function,” says Jonathan
Mossberg, CEO of the Daytona Beach, Florida, USA-based company.
The iGun joins a growing arsenal of firearm projects aimed at lessening accidental shootings through technologies such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips, fingerprint
scans or grip patterns.
laptop into a
gun and having
—Jonathan Mossberg, iGun
Daytona Beach, Florida, USA
employ a variety of
Intelligun uses a fingerprint sensor to immediately unlock the firearm
when held by its owner.
A manual override option
can disable the fingerprint lock with a key.
The Quicklock system,
left, developed by Unter-foehring, Germany-based
Armatix, has a digital key
that opens with a PIN
code or fingerprinting.
The Quicklock system has a programmable control unit and a blocking device.
An RFID chip in the iGun
can ID a gun owner’s ring
to unlock automatically.