A Very Stupid “Smart Gun”

A German company called Armatix is trying to peddle a very stupidly designed “smart gun.” It’s a small .22 caliber pistol of the sort that might be useful for plinking at tin cans but is underpowered for any serious self-defense application. Strike one.

iP1The gun uses RFID technology to enable operation. The user must have a companion wrist watch, and the watch must be within 10 inches of the pistol in order for it to be fired.

As soon as the gun loses radio contact with the watch – e.g. if it is knocked out of the shooter’s hand or in case of loss, theft, etc. – it automatically deactivates itself.

Since most of us wear our watches on the left wrist, the pistol would have to be fired from the left hand (as shown in the Armatix picture above) or using a two-handed grip. While that wouldn’t be a problem for me, I’m ambidextrous, it’s could be a real issue for the roughly 90% of shooters who are right-handed and might not have both hands free in a self-defense situation. Strike two.

Using RFID means that the gun could be subject to jamming—and I don’t mean failure to feed the next round. Strike three.

I’ll believe that “smart guns” are a good idea when the security details of the politicians who want to force them on the public are carrying them—and no conventional firearms for backup.

13 thoughts on “A Very Stupid “Smart Gun”

  1. Also, it appears the watch/gun combo can be remotely disabled from a central service.

  2. “Subject to failure”. Apparently it has a 10% failure rate per trigger pull. As it has a ten round magazine that means an average of one misfire per magazine. And you pay about $1800 for the watch/gun combo where I can buy a more reliable gun of similar caliber for about $250. SMH

    • Oh, nonsense, you can buy a more reliable gun for about $90 because even crappy Jennings / Raven / HiPoint junk is more reliable than that. I consider a gun ten times more reliable than that to be “broken”.

  3. How about a large scale test to make sure it doesn’t work before we condemn it? Convert some large police departments… say, Los Angeles, Detroit, and New York.. to use nothing but smart guns over a period of 3 to 5 years. I’m sure they won’t mind.

  4. I am totally sure that bad people would never ever disable the RFID blocking on their totes legal guns and would never think of just stealing a gun and the watch from an abiding person and then just gluing the RFID tage to the butt.

  5. For it to be truly safe:

    1. IT should issue a loud siren when the safety is off or a white flashing light in case the RFID user is deaf, for blind people a brain vibration is sent through the pistol grip – not available in some states

    2. In case of hacking, google glasses should be worn and an sent an image to confirm the owner is indeed the owner and not the guy who stole his watch

    3. After the siren and google confirmation a loud warning based upon GPS location should issue to the intended target the local self defense ordinance that’s about to be invoked, that will be issued from the 200 watt speaker located in front of the trigger and follows the length of the barrel cpu attached by HDMI cable – the cpu can be located in your house or strapped to your chest

    4. then the automated holographic firing instructor will appear right over the sights to assist you in aiming…

    5. easy peasy

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