Smart gun requires special watch in order to fire

In Skyfall, Q gives James Bond a special Walther PPK/S pistol that will only fire when it successfully recognizes his palmprint. While the Armtix iP1 pistol isn't quite as high-tech, the concept is the same: a smart gun that prevents accidental or unauthorized firing.

The Armatix iP1 pistol only works if the accompanying PIN-equipped watch is within its close range. When the handgun detects the watch, LEDs will light green, which means the gun is now activated and ready for shooting. If the smartwatch isn't detected, then the LEDs stay red, which means the gun is inactive and harmless.

While the .22 caliber pistol has been around for years, it (along with other smart guns that require some kind of security authentication) recently resurfaced in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings. The Washington Post has a good writeup on the challenges that smart gun proponents are facing from legislation.

"We need the iPhone of guns," says Ron Conway, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who believes smart guns are the future.

As is the case with any weapons discussion, there are those who support smart guns and those against them. Supporters believe smart guns could save 32,000 people a year who reportedly die from gun death. Smart gun opponents march to a different beat: they believe smart guns will only affect a "very small portion of the gun-buying public" and may even encourage people who wouldn't own a handgun to buy one because the guns would be marketed as safer.

While the battle between gun advocates and opponents will be a long one, there remains one obvious hurdle that could stop smart guns dead in their tracks: price. Compared to a .40-caliber Glock that costs $600, a smart gun such as the Armtrix iP1 costs $1,800 for both the pistol and the watch ($1,400 for gun, $400 for watch).

Armatix, via The Washington Post

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