It’s a development fuelled in large part by ongoing and pervasive gun violence in America, and President Obama’s efforts to curb it, with smart gun research being an important component in recent executive action on his part.
While the National Rifle Association is likely to oppose any government-mandated measures in the area of gun safety, a number of independent firms already have relevant products in development. As Forbes points out, companies like Armatix and TriggersSmart have sought to use RFID technology for smart gun systems, requiring that RFID tags be present in order for designated weapons to be used.
Meanwhile, biometric technology is being used by other companies in a similar way, as in the case of the Intelligun, which features built-in fingerprint authentication. And at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show, engineer Omer Kiyani was keen to show off his Identilock solution, a fingerprint scanning lock that can be attached to firearms at their triggers. That product offers the advantage of being a peripheral option for gun owners, which could allow it to be seen as less intrusive by the likes of the NRA, and moreover Kiyani, as both a victim of gun violence and a member of the NRA, could prove to be a strong spokesperson for this kind of gun safety solution.
Of course, the extent to which gun owners embrace these options remains to be seen—but safety advocates should be pleased to see that they are being developed and promoted as this issue continues to make its way into the headlines.
January 11, 2015 – by Alex Perala