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“There’s a group from Silicon Valley that just gave a 17-year-old $50,000 to keep playing with guns. The Smart Tech Challenges Foundation, based in California’s tech capital, announced it is funding a young innovator from Colorado who is integrating a biometric sensor into a firearm that requires an authorized user’s fingerprint to discharge — and they claim the sensor is 99.99% accurate with fingerprint recognition — even with partial prints.” So reports Young Kai Kloepfer is the recipient of the first tranche of cash from the group that says they’re looking for the iPhone of guns . . .

And with the hefty attention Apple gained Tuesday with their next round of iPhone and Apple Watch smart technology, gun investors who want to push the industry into the biotech realm may get real support. “The entrepreneur who does this right could be the Mark Zuckerberg of guns,” (Silicon Valley investor Ron) Conway added.

We don’t know about you, but given Facebook’s barely concealed antipathy toward all things gunny, a search for the “Mark Zuckerberg of guns” probably won’t give the People of the Gun any warm fuzzies. Just sayin’. Anyway…

“Kai is receiving the $50,000 grant to apply toward the integration of a fingerprint scanner, which can be programmed for a virtually unlimited number of users, from a plastic model of a Beretta Px4 Storm onto a live firearm. The sensor that Kai is working with boasts a 99.99% accurate fingerprint recognition rate—even with partial prints.

Knock yourself out there, Kai. There’s just one big problem with getting the teen’s genius, no matter how well it works, from drawing board to local gun store: the New Jersey poison pill.

Most gun owners have no problem with smart guns per se. While they’d rather drop their hard-earned cash on a vasectomy without the benefit of anesthesia than buy a “smart gun,” they aren’t bothered if other people drop their cash on one — as long a they have a choice in the matter. But New Jersey’s law is the camel’s nose under the tent that would change that. It’s the same factor that’s kept Armatix’s contraption from being sold anywhere so far.

So if Ronny Conway is really serious about getting viable smart gun technology out there where the buying public can evaluate and actually purchase it, maybe he should redirect some of his org’s simoleons toward lobbying the New Jersey legislature and convince them to repeal their ticking time bomb of a law. Until that hurdle’s out of the way, there’s no reason to think Kloepfer’s or anyone else’s ballistic brainstorms will see any more acceptance than Armatix has.

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  1. Given that NJ lawmakers will likely never be pushed off their hilltop by the people alone, I’d rather see Conway and company push the smart technology on the various NJ police departments.

    Don’t sell it to them, obviously, but offer the assorted po-pos the opportunity to help in its development. Either the technology will be found to be sound enough to sway some POTG in the retail market, or the cops will side with the demand for repeal.

    • I agree. The average joe always lets military and law enforcement be the beta testers. Let the free market do its thing. These people developing this technology are betting the farm on mandatory legislation. They want to get rich, not save lives.

    • As long as the product isn’t commercially available, the NJ cannot take effect.
      I suspect a judge would shut the NJ law down within a year because it limits choice of firearms to a ridiculous degree.

      • “I suspect a judge would shut the NJ law down within a year because it limits choice of firearms to a ridiculous degree.”

        Yeah, maybe in Fantasy Land.

        We’re talking New Jersey here. I’d lay money SCOTUS would pass on taking that test case.

        (Hell, I used to live in Joisy…)

        • Joisy; A nice place to visit but, I wouldn’t want to try to defend myself or family there,you would be dead.

    • Yep, if it’s a good idea require it for the LEOs where the government actually does have a say over how they equip their employees.

      If it is not acceptable for an organization which can rapdily provide assistance with team members in constant contact, it is not suitable for an individual operating autonomously.

  2. “they’re looking for the iPhone of guns”


    So much fail.

    iPhone is essentially a toy. A gun is not. Concept fail.

    They want “the next big thing,” not to solve a real problem. Motivation fail.

    • I don’t know, being able to make calls and text messages, check my email, check out the Quote of the Day, play a game AND shoot the bad guy all with one device might have some serious appeal. Maybe they could even make all iPhones ballistic and the anti-gun people would just have to keep theirs unloaded.

    • I don’t understand the iPhone analogy either since it has very little grounding in anything related to firearms and the market for them. The iPhone expanded the capabilities and user interface from the typical flip phone or blackberry. A gun pretty much has one function(to reliably send a bullet accurately towards a target) and as we know, gun owners can’t even remotely agree on which model or caliber is best at doing that. If they release a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range, that would be the new iPhone of firearms. Smart gun technology is something that almost no one who actually wants a gun is asking for. Sure a few people might want it, but to say that it will be the new iPhone(which consumers actually wanted) means that the developers/investors are idiots when it comes to gun owners, and they probably deserve to lose every penny.

      Plus 99.99% isn’t good enough for me, and any electronics that interupt my guns ability to fire is a no go. If an optic requires power and it breaks, I take it off and use the iron sights. If a thumb print reader breaks, I am SOL.

      • Guys, I hate to point out the obvious statistic here, but most current firearms do not operate with 99.99% reliability.

        To put this 99.99% figure in perspective, if you had ONE misfire (or “error” of some sort) out of 10,000 rounds fired (with the other 9,999 going down the pipe), you would have an error rate of .01% (POINT OH-ONE PERCENT), and a success rate of 99.99%

        • So why reduce it with yet another component with sub 100% reliability?

          If every step in a ten step process has 99% yield, *overall* yield is just 90%. Same goes for reliability, and there can be dozens of parts even in a dumb gun, let alone electronics.

        • There’s also the fact in the unlikely event that I have a failure with my EDC I will simply pull the trigger again and the cylinder will rotate and the hammer will drop on another cartridge. Even with an auto you simply rack the slide and your pistol is back in action, and the failure rate of the first round already in the chamber is probably much lower than 1 in 10,000, so even then your first shot is off. If the computer doesn’t recognize you fingerprint you will be left holding a very expensive brick.

        • Right, so lets conservatively say there are 500,000 DGU’s a year. With this fingerprint failure rate, there is 5000 people who had a gun fail them when they needed it just because of the “smart” technology.

        • Craig, I get where you’re going, but it wouldn’t be as simple as that. The vast majority of DGUs don’t involve any shots being fired. So you’d have to factor that in.

          Your point stands, though, that statistically, this technology will end up killing some people who are relying on it. Which is why it will never be adopted by police or the military.

        • It doesn’t matter. No firearm should have an electronic barrier to overcome before discharging a firearm. Electronics fail. Batteries die. Gadgets get hacked. You can’t learn to tap, rack and bang your way out of an electronic failure.

          And where did this percentage of reliability come from? How was it vetted? The inventor states he is awaiting “real world” testing. My standard and his standard of reliability to the “nines” are not the same.

          A quick google search for biometric gun safety shows there are vendors that already offer this technology.

        • Let me get this straight……you believe the marketing guys when they say that it’s 99.99% reliable?

          Let’s even ignore the sensor, do any of your battery powered electro+mechanical devices achieve a 99.99% uptime?

        • With practice, I can clear a misfire and send the next round downrange in under 1/2 second. Try that with a failure of a fingerprint scanner.

  3. The big difference is there’s millions of phone owners that want to buy a smartphone… and in the other hand, so far, I don’t know any gun owners that want a smart-gun (I could even say, no gun owner want something smarter than him/her).

    Even if it would work 100% of the time (which is impossible with anything electronics), I wouldn’t trust a gun with electronics, or even with too complex mechanisms. We often laugh at the rustic, basic and simple Russian products… but look at the AK, the Mosin, the PKM or RPG-7… but it’s cheap and it works. That’s all we need and ask to a weapon.

    If I need a system to tell me where I am, the weather overcast, etc… I prefer it not to be on my gun. I will never buy a smart-gun, even if tomorrow it will be mandatory by law.

    Nonetheless, I only have one word to tell to the developers of this “smart-gun”: jailbreak 😉

  4. Mega yawn.

    Call me when the military, the po-po’s and the bodyguards of all politikos have have exhaustively tested this “iPhone of guns” (idiotic term btw) without any failures and fully switched to using them. THEN I might look into it.

    Until that time arrives, if ever, I’m sticking with my revolvers and my “libtard-scaring black rifles”, thank ye verra much. Now piss off kid and get off my lawn. 😉

  5. Knowing that there’s a one in one thousand chance that the firearm wouldn’t recognize your fingerprints when you need your weapon would not be very comforting. They need to work on that before anything comes to market. They’re on the right track with fingerprint recognition, though. Anything that uses RF not only requires the user to wear a transmitter, but allows the government or police to shut off or jam your firearm, which would be a complete deal breaker for me. But New Jersey politics aside, I can see the appeal of a firearm you could leave laying around the house with the confidence the chillins couldn’t cause any mayhem with it. Personally I think it’s a bit of a pipe dream in 2014, but in 20 or 30 years maybe. I’d still keep some good old fashioned bang switch guns in the safe though.

    • Nope. I do NOT like ANY type of electronic switch in firearms that would be used for self defense.

      The ONLY idea that I approve of would be a mechanical lock that is integrative to a grip safety and holster. You draw your gun out of the holster and it is good to go. You lose your gun in a fight and release the grip safety, the gun is then locked. If you retrieve your gun, all you have to do is re-holster and redraw, the safety is reset.

    • Technology can not replace safety. The idea that leaving any gun in the open with untrained children around is irresponsible.
      There are only two responsible choices. One, get a quick access safe for home defense. Two, teach your children. Take them shooting. Show them what bullets do to large fruit (melons) and why guns need to be handled responsibly. You should only have loaded guns in an easy to access location if your children are responsible enough to never touch, play, etc with them.

      • If they perfected the tech I would consider buying one, but it has nothing to do with:
        -the children-.

        The application I see is for an EDC weapon – especially OC. There is always a risk that someone can take someone’s OC weapon away and use it on them, right? I know that retention holsters help mitigate this fact, but having an electronic, fingerprint reading trigger would further mitigate the danger.

        If they perfect the tech, I can definitely see police departments buying it up en masse.

        • Except… if your wife or husband or buddy, someone needs to use your gun in an emergency… out of luck. Nope. I don’t want any machine or electonic gizmo making decisions for me.

        • @Mama

          That’s a great point. I think that “what if” scenario may apply to some people… but not me.

          I just have too many guns for that situation to really resonate much with me. I’m ok with 1 or 2 of my handguns being “me only” weapons.

          Plus, the article said the technology would allow the owner to add and remove users. So… moot point?

        • If they CAN take my gun to use against me, they can kill me WITHOUT the gun. The argument that someone will use my gun against me is a nonstarter.

      • ‘…get a quick access safe for home defense.’

        How is a quick access safe that uses fingerprint recognition any different than the same system actually built into the gun itself? The fact that the children aren’t scarred for life by the sight of a (gasp) gun?

      • “There is always a risk that someone can take someone’s OC weapon away and use it on them, right? “

        Yeah, that’s true. There’s also “always a risk” of a volcano erupting beneath my feet where ever I happen to be standing, but I don’t worry about it too much.

        Evidence does not support OC-er’s having their guns snatched out of holster to be a “high risk” issue. Gets a lot of comments as if it were, of course, but in the real world, it does not happen.

        At least Level II retention covers it in my mind. Your mileage may vary, but electronics add more iffy to the equation than it solves in my opinion.

        • “It happens though – especially to cops.”

          Not usually in snatch-n-grabs like with a regular Joe like us doing are level best to avoid confrontations.

          Cops have to close with bad guys already engaged in bad actions. My present mission is different.

          Quick search of cases (not exhaustive, of course) where cop gun taken it was during an on-going altercation, arrest process or after arrest, etc.

          My first “retention” strategy is, of course, not even to let anyone get that close to my firearm. Cops don’t really have that option.

          Points offered as ‘discussion on the topic,’ not ‘argument.’

        • I hear you, JR.

          I was just thinking of the product’s application for LEO and military users.

          I think Army officers walking around occupied (but still contested) territory could benefit from this tech on their sidearms (if it works, of course).

    • I kinda suspect that I’m never going to be enthusiastic about a solution which precludes my ever again wearing gloves.

  6. No offense to the kid, sounds like he has a future in Engineering, but his idea will not work. The problem lies in the separation of real-life vs sterile conditions. Under range conditions I am willing to be that most of these biometric checks will work, but in worst case scenario situations conditions change too much for most integrative biometric sensors, and lets face it, you should only be pulling your firearm for real use under the worst case situations.

    You’re ambushed, your bloodied, you’re dirty, your adrenaline is racing. Every single one of those factors will change how the sensor will read. What happens if it is a cold day and you are wearing gloves when you are suddenly confronted? What happens when you get slashed before you get your hand on the weapon, and there is now blood all over your hand? What if you get a shit grip on your weapon? What if you fall in the mud and now have a 16th inch of thick mud layering your hand?

    Sorry, but no, biometric sensors undermine the true purpose of a firearm: When the worst is happening, you have a tool that you can use to protect yourself.

    • There are even more basic problems than that. What if you have gloves on? Often these scanner do not work when it is really cold or really hot. What happens when the sensor gets dirty? It is electronic, batteries fail. While many guns with lifetime warranty, I bet this electronic gizmo only gets 90 days. If it is not user DIY, you have to send in a perfectly working gun for some cheaply made electronics.

      It is the simple things that will get you. This is just another feel good project. Kudo’s to the kid for learning how to work the system.

      As long as there are groups willing to throw money at these stupid projects, there will be plenty of takers. Until the NJ law is repealed, none will see there way to store shelves and many will end up in land fills next to the Atari ET Game Cartridges

      • What if you have to use your opposite hand because your normal one is busy pushing an attacker away? What if your grip is imperfect because grabbed the pistol quickly? What if there is a 0.5 to 2 second delay before the scanner can read the fingerprint and unlock the handgun?

        There are too many possible failures for anyone (police, military, civilian) to consider electronic guns safe to use.

    • I think it was the 1986 FBI shootout where some of the officers involved had their service revolvers coated in their own blood to the extent that they struggled to push cartridges into the cylinder when reloading. Bet a fingerprint scanner would have worked great under those circumstances.

      • Yep, or what if I’m roadside working on my car and my hands are covered in gook.

        There are many reasons this is a bad, bad idea, unless the real purpose is to practically disarm us.

        Yeah, we can have guns, but they don’t work, so the end result is the same. That’s all “smart gun” technology is.

    • Well I can tell you what is at 0% chance….that this piece of electronics will have an unconditional guarantee for life no questions asked warranty.

      • If it were mathematically possible, I would say the chance of a guarantee was even less than that. Not that it matters, in case of failure, the owner won’t live long enough to file a claim.

  7. I’m more of a mind that smart-gun technology should develop and come to market. It should face market challenges like any other product or business. Consumers should have the choice. And NJ ‘subjects’ would then come to realize fully that there are consequences to your political choices. This might turn NJ around quicker than any other course of action. Or I may be waiting for pigs to fly….

    • PS. I also think that gun manufacturers should sell to police departments only what the rest of the citizens can purchase legally in that state.

      • Passing that law would immediately get every NJ police officer very loudly on board an effort to repeal this stupid law.

      • yep, any scheme of implimentation that exempts law enforcement from technology like this is tacit acceptance that the technology is complete bullshit.

        This is wha tis so maddening about this argument about smart gun technology. We are allowing one faction to define the playing field. The whole “Obama is planning to implement smart guns and then take them all out with an electronic override device” while may be true does nothing to win people over to the cause. Why dont we just say, “hey law enforcement you guys get your guns grabbed all the time you should implement this technology” and then watch them twist in the wind as the try and get out of it. Someone should email Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and be like “hey guys people like Michael Brown could still be alive today because after all, the police officer wouldn’t have been so afraid of getting hurt if Michael took his gun so maybe he wouldn’t have responded with deadly force.” Think about it how many un-armed people are killed by cops and the default response/excuse is, “he was going for my gun”.

        We need to do something to change the playing field so that one group isnt defining every single gun control debate and we can meet the attacks with facts and watch how quickly smart gun mandates die when the police refuse to adopt it. Before you criticize me how many articles on mainstream media have you seen talking about how unreliable smart gun technology is? I haven’t seen one, but they can probably be counted on one hand. Versus how many articles have you seen about people ranting about how smart guns are a backdoor gun ban or how there is a government conspiracy to deactivate them. Which again, these arguments may all be true and may actually be the reason why smart guns are bad, but to default to that argument when there are other more productive arguments to use that would do more… that is why we are losing. It would be so simple…

        I see the headline now ” ‘When Siri doesnt recognize your fingerprint, you don’t get killed by an armed criminal’ Why unreliable smart gun technology is unacceptable”

    • In my opinion, a good way to get rid of a bad law is to make sure it’s enforced. Many of those making laws are happy to have them just hang over your head as a threat but when people get a real whiff of what’s happening, the uproar can get things changed.

      The legislators might be freedom-hating but the only thing they hate more than your freedom to do what you want is a loss of revenue. Even with all the complaining about guns, I’m sure they love the flow of tax revenue. Gun shops have to be up there in tax revenue as they sell expensive items (much like car dealers but on a smaller scale). Sales tax revenues flow to a lot of different entities , all of which count on them. Here in Illinois, the municipality a seller resides in typically collects 1% of the sale price as their share or revenue – a $500 gun is real money that is hard to make up by selling greeting cards.

      What’s better? Having the straw that will break the camel’s back hanging over the camel forever and hoping no one notices or obviously breaking the camel’s back out of ignorance and stupidity?

      Someone is going to build and find someone to sell this. I can see some anti-gun group getting an FFL and opening a store selling just this sort of thing and tripping the NJ trigger; I’m sort of surprised it hasn’t happened already. “Hi Armatix? this is Bob from ‘Smart Guns of Trenton’. I’d like to become a reseller.”

      It might be best to just tackle this head on and get it over with…

      The last thing the legislators want is to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs whether it’s tax revenue or their very jobs.

      To quote Dan Ackroyd from Ghostbusters: “Personally I like the university. They gave us money and facilities. We didn’t have to produce anything. You’ve never been out of college. You don’t know what it’s like out there. I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results.”

      • In my opinion, a good way to get rid of a bad law is to make sure it’s enforced.

        Around 30 years ago, I read an article by a reporter who happened to be present at the TX Capitol for an interview when, during a recess, a bunch of legislators got to comparing the handguns they were carrying, leather, etc. It was another 10 years before concealed carry was made legal by these same people, and then only with a license. If they had all been ARRESTED that day, that process may have been sped up a bit, ya think?

        • Even then it can still take a long time. We look at Prohibition as wasteful and an absolute failure, but neglect to appreciate that it was enforeced for well over a decade (on the Federal level).

          If people are told or believe that a law is a “good idea”, they will put up with any amount of stupidy until convinced otherwise.

      • “In my opinion, a good way to get rid of a bad law is to make sure it’s enforced.”

        OK, lets try that with the (Un)-affordable Care Act and see how far that will go.

        (Crickets softly chirping…)

      • Smart guns are dumb. You hit the nail on head zog. I live in Cook co.,Il. My last 8 guns were bought in Indiana. If I get a handgun I’ll have it transferred to Will County. I’m not paying the $25 slush fund tax. That and the gun sellers in Cook seem to all want 50-200 bucks MORE for a handgun than the shops in Indiana. And I’d love to move to Indiana. Illinois can’t be fixed at this point.

      • I was thinking the same thing. I wonder why some anti-gun pol didn’t run out and buy one of those Armatix guns to force the mandate into existance?
        Devils advocate for a moment – If I were an antigun pol (I am neither) I would introduce carve outs for smart guns (i.e. school/air plane/court room carry, etc) so that I look pro 2A on the surface and facilitate acceptance at the same time. Then later introduce legislation to limit where dumb guns can be carried to force a defacto mandate. And since I’m a lying a-hole statist, I’d follow up later with legislation to limit where smart guns can be carried. Basically a long con of bait and switch.
        Fortunately for us, they’ve been trying switch with no bait…

      • “I can see some anti-gun group getting an FFL and opening a store selling just this sort of thing and tripping the NJ trigger; I’m sort of surprised it hasn’t happened already.”

        This was my very thought while reading the article. I was afraid to mention it because I didn’t want to give “them” any ideas.

  8. Some of these kids are unbelievable.

    There’s a kid at my church who started in IT- when he was TWELVE.

    Now he’s 16 and has 150 employees.


    Where the hell was my head at when I was 12. Dam.

      • How true that is. If I had had Arduino, PIC, or Raspberry Pi when I was 12 I doubt I would be inhaling organic solvents in the analytical lab today.

    • “Where the hell was my head at when I was 12”

      If memory serves, I was carefully monitoring the breast development of my female classmates in Jr. High and learning how to wear an athletic supporter. That was about all I could handle.

    • You’re right, of course. But that accuracy probably isn’t even his biggest issue – its likely the electronics enduring the recoil of a decent caliber…battery-life too.

      Also, I haven’t seen a single “smart-gun” entrepreneur mention having multiple finger prints in a guns memory (left and right hands, wife’s prints, etc), or ambidexterity of the reader.

      • To be fair, I think the article indicated this one could be “programmed” for an “indefinite number” of prints.

        • Cool.

          Then I can defeat it by programming the acceptable print with my forearm (or some ‘featureless’ non friction skin region) so that “blob of flat skin” is what it reads as correct?

          No print at all needed, just skin pressed up against the reader. Useless, pointless non-solution to the wrong problem.

        • I don’t think that would work, JR. If you have a “blank” print as the key, then an actual fingerprint pressed on it will be a negative match, since it will have ridges, whorls, and all the normal fingerprint business.

        • Okay, slight mod.

          Tape a piece of cardboard over it that looks like a fingerprint, read that as the ‘known’ and just leave it in place.

          But, we are getting off the point in details. Point is…solution purported to solve a problem that it neither solves or is really intended to solve. That’s the bigger issue than the details of the tech itself.

          In other words, the very premise of the tech is that we are irresponsible boobs that are letting bad guys get our guns and do teh ev1L even if (and big if in their minds) we are not doing it ourselves.

        • There HAS to be a definite limit. The device only has so much memory. The claim it allows an indefinite number of prints only gives reason to doubt ALL the claims made by whoever made that claim.

  9. I’ll believe how “good” smart guns are when Jerry M can pull one out a safe that’s been stored for two years without being plugged in, gets a fresh magazine slapped in place, and he can blast rounds on target just as fast as a convention firearm. “Dumb” guns can do that just fine.

  10. “Kai is receiving the $50,000 grant to apply toward the integration of a fingerprint scanner, which can be programmed for a virtually unlimited number of users, from a plastic model of a Beretta Px4 Storm onto a live firearm. The sensor that Kai is working with boasts a 99.99% accurate fingerprint recognition rate—even with partial prints.”

    Suppose he succeeds, and overcomes the recognition issue, the battery power issue, cost issue, etc. The biggest technical hurdle is still to come – dealing with the recoil of an actual firearm. He’s developing this on a replica. Will the sensor still be 99.99% accurate after the shock of several thousand rounds being fired out of a real firearm? Unlikely.

    • Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think we have to wait 4 years before we can begin to find out. He can’t possess a (real) handgun until he’s 21.

      • The current administration will be happy to issue a waiver on that, just as they do on the healthcare law.

      • You are mistaken Federal law requires you to be 21 to BUY a handgun from a FFL dealer. It does not prohibit POSSESSION of a handgun at any age.

  11. Isn’t Apple still struggling with the stigma attached to having mass marketed a telephone incapable of making calls?

  12. Guns being mechanical already have inherent reliability issues that crop up sometimes. Now someone wants to add an electronic element to the equation. I use a very expensive computer and have other high quality electronic devices. All of them are prone to failure while in-use. All have frozen up at one time or another. My laptop has a finger print scanner that I must use to log on. It always takes more than one attempt at swiping my finger over the scanner to log on. Sometimes it takes as many as five times to log on. This is illogical and I will never submit to using an electronically locked firearm.

  13. I did not start loving firearms because of Call of Duty, metal gear solid(specifically MGS3) was the catalyst. If you didn’t know, the 4th game talked about how all guns(except a few that had essentially been jailbreaked; the only legit smart phone comparison) were smart guns now. As a result, pretty much only the government and other unscrupulous folk got to use firearms. Yes it’s a game and this is slightly tin foil hat territory, but it’s a road I would prefer not to go down.

  14. I work in the security industry and we sell and install biometric fingerprint readers all the time. In real life in order to get a match accuracy of 99.99 you basically have to drop that match Index to 3 points, maybe 2. I installed biometric sensors at the entrance of a chemical plant where literally thousands of people use them all day everyday. When they were originally installed, we set them up for the standard industry 6 point match. After 8 hours of testing in real world situations, we dropped the index to 3 to achieve approximately a 1 in 100 rejection rate.

    While a 1 in 100 rejection rate is acceptable at the entrance to a business, this is completely unacceptable in a life-threatening situation. I’ve been working with biometrics for better than 15 years. I have yet to come across any biometric system that is 99.99 percent accurate, even in relatively sterile office environments.

    Don’t get me wrong, the technology is advancing. But it’s nowhere near the level it would need to be in order to be integrated into a critical device, such as a firearm!

    • “you basically have to drop that match Index to 3 points, maybe 2.”

      2-3 Galton Points, or something else specific to that industry?

      This is interesting, since different individuals have been shown to have possible matching Galton points of 6 or more.

      As someone that has testified in court on fingerprint ID, I would not call a 2 point or 3 point “a match.”

      Does your statement then imply that false positives are more likely than false rejections? If so, does that further mean that this tech is NOT REALLY protection against the wrong person using the firearm?

      Legal standard is one thing; standard needed to get your firearm to operate that might save your life is another ballgame.

      Good read:

  15. I have no problem with smart gun technology. If you give me a glock that works like a glock but can only be fired by me or a small list of authorized users, I think thats a good thing. IF AND ONLY IF it is proven reliable and not easily “tampered” with ie made useless by a central command. If we are all honest the only way a reliable smart gun will happen is if someone makes the first one. There might even be a niche in the aftermarket for EMP/RF shielding/ manual overrides should the need arise. HOWEVER and I put that all caps so hopefully it stems the tide of hate.

    The problem I have with smart guns is when career criminals err I mean politicians get their hands on the idea and mandate it before it is ready. Really I dont like the fact that they see fit to mandate it at all. It should just be one of the options. Think about it, a handgun that is able to be rapidly deployed that in theory does not need to be locked in a box to keep unwanted hands from shooting it. That sounds cool in theory, but in practice will never work because it is being forced on people who might otherwise adopt and help develop the technology. I imagine semi autos were received with a similar level of warmth and grace by the wheel gun crowd back in the day. The only difference is that there weren’t politicians and nannies forcing new guns down people’s throats when they were still unreliable and untested, and people could still go out and buy a revolver if their semi auto didnt work like they wanted it to.

    • The problem is a political one, not a technological one. Given a decade or three the technology will work it’s bugs out in a free market, but certain politicians love the free market about as much as they love contracting ebola.

    • Let’s remember that there is a question of how the gun “fails”. As in, when the system fails, do you have a gun or a brick? If a gun, then in a problem with politicians, for example, you could remove the battery and party down. With the battery installed, if someone takes it from you, he can’t shoot you with it. Nor could your 4-year-old shoot himself. I might pay for that, depending on price and performance! But I suspect the entire idea is to have the failure be to a brick, which is entirely unacceptable and will always be.

  16. “99.99% accurate”?

    It’s that pesky 0.01% that matters. All of the “dumb” guns I own are 100% accurate when reading my fingerprints.

    • Can I go to the gun range with you while you train? I wanna see the looks on peoples faces at you say, Get the fu@% out of my house!” before every shot.

  17. Hmmm… Do you get a little hour-glass icon while it’s processing (and the bad guy is smashing your brains in with a ball bat)? “Aww shit, gimme a sec to replace the battery here, Mr Bad guy?. Hopefully I don’t have to call tech support again, they outsourced it to India”

    So much fail here it’s hard to even comprehend how anyone could think this is anything but retarded. But then again, I guess we know the Anti’s penchant to ignore all logic. The only thing they know about firearms is what they see on the tee-vee, and we all know how wonderfully accurate that is.

    • Most guns used in DGUs were purchased decades before it happens.

      In other words, by the time it happens, the company will no longer exist.

  18. The way I look at it is this. Anything with electronics can go bad and can be defeated with a pulse or a signal for instance. Next they will make the gun such that the government can shut it off at will. (Kind of defeats the purpose of the 2nd Amendment there.) They already introduced the technology on I-Phones. They can shut them all down when ever they want. It is under the guise that they can deactivate a stolen I-phone.

    Anyway if the police could send a pulse or signal to the gun so it would not be able to fire… then baddies could figure out how to do the same thing. Sorry I will stick with a firing pin and hammer that relies on nothing more than me pulling the trigger. I could disassemble and reassemble my fire arm if needed to try to repair most failures (as long as not catastrophic) but doubt most of us could ever repair the electrical components should they fail.

    Not to mention the issues with blood and dirt on the sensor that others have brought up.

    • Exactly the point I intended to post: any “smart gun” technology will probably be set up with a code that can be sent to it to disable it. I don’t want ANYONE to be able to shut down my firearm FOR ANY REASON. It’s MY firearm, and I want it to shoot any time I pull the trigger. (And I am willing to accept the consequences for poor judgment.)

  19. He’s working on a replica of a Px4 Storm. On the upside, at least he’s working on a real-world gun and not a phaser prop from Deep Space 9.

    However, has he thought about the precise goings-on in a gun? There’s a lot of stress each time you press the trigger and the gun goes bang. The electronics are next to a chamber that has to deal with a momentary pressure of at least 34,000 PSI. And a sudden increase in heat. I don’t think whatever he’s doing in Raspberry Pi or Arduino can account for this. Politics aside, it’s a good start, and it’s already better than Armatix.

    The idea of a smart gun is nice. But the reality, as it stands, isn’t. If smart guns could sell alongside purely mechanical guns, I’d be fine with that. But there can be no legislation outlawing mechanical guns.

  20. overlooked is the fact that aging diminishes the usefulness of finger prints. just ask some of the older people struggling with federal government ‘smart cards’ that require a near-perfect finger print impression as an identity validation step in issuing the card. or perhaps talk to older people who cannot get a good print read in order to receive their ccw ticket. from what i read on the subject, as we age our skin gets thinner, and prints can actually disappear (as far as a scanner is concerned).

    and maybe a high failure-rate is the intended outcome. if your gun don’t work, don’t nobody get shot.

    • And older folks are more conservative, so this would automatically disarm them without them even knowing it! How wonderful!

    • “and maybe a high failure-rate is the intended outcome.”

      That’s what I’m thinking. Maybe not for the kid developing it, but certainly for the political machinery pushing for the tech.

  21. So what problem does a smart gun fix? It would seem to me that upon gripping the gun by an authorized user a safety is released in the system.(i.e. a pin or block in the mechanism) How long will it take for criminals to figure this out? My guess is only slightly longer than how to defeat micro stamping. While the finger print recognition may be 99.99% what about the rest of the parts in the system? If it’s a servo that actually releases the striker after the processor senses the trigger squeeze how reliable is that? With my luck the low battery light would turn on during my draw even though I had just changed the batteries yesterday. Speaking of low battery lights, can you imagine that turning on while carrying concealed? If, like the iphone, the battery is not removable you will need to charge it before you can use it again. I feel like I could go on all day about the probable flaws in this system.

    • “So what problem does a smart gun fix? “

      Not the problem it is purported to fix is my guess. They claim it’s about keeping the gun from being used by unauthorized persons.

      My suspicion, based on who pushes this and their collective behavior, is that it is really to keep the gun from being usable even by the good guy.

      I think this because to them, we are all unauthorized persons in terms of gun ownership/use.

  22. I would agree with Zimmerman if we were still living in the 80’s or 90’s. But smart gun manufacturers don’t need to have local gun stores sell their products. They could setup their own online gun store and sell directly to the public (through an FFL of course).

    • They still face the problem of getting someone at a local shop on board. The guy who does the first FFL transfer of one of these sold direct-to-consumer faces the same backlash as the stores that talked about selling the Armatix.

  23. What the proponents of so-called “smart guns” do not understand is that sometimes more advanced technology is not preferred. Take battle tanks. Tanks with sophisticated automatic loading systems have been around for decades. But yet the U.S. military’s Abrams battle tank has no such system. It uses a human to take each round and load it into the main gun. Why? For a few reasons:

    1) It’s faster than a loading system
    2) It’s more reliable than a loading system (no parts that can break on you and render the gun inoperable)
    3) It means fewer parts to maintain in the tank
    4) You get an extra crewman who can help with other maintenance on the tank

    Or with the Space Program. For the first mission to the Moon, it was decided to use electronics to be able to turn the rocket engine on and off. The astronauts suggested why just have a mechanical hand-cranked valve that could be used to turn the engine on and off? Because that was a lot simpler, and thus would be far more reliable in the middle of space then having to rely on electronics that could break on you. But the NASA bureaucracy wouldn’t allow it because the general public would never BELIEVE the idea of a SPACECRAFT, the height of human knowledge and technology, being operated by what sounded like something you could’ve bought down at Joe Bob’s Plumbing Supplies.

    With guns it is similar. Yeah, so they can develop sophisticated electronics for guns. I DON’T WANT THEM. I love technology, but I want my guns MECHANICAL. So that nothing can short-circuit on me or foul-up or anything. I’ve seen how much cellphone and computer work; most of the time they work fine, but sometimes they get stupid acting and won’t accept my commands and so forth.

  24. “…maybe he should redirect some of his org’s simoleons toward lobbying the New Jersey legislature to repeal their ticking time bomb of a law.”

    Any repeal of the NJ law would only be temporary, because as soon as the “smart” guns were on the market, they’d just pass a new law mandating them. We’ve already seen their cards, and we already know they are willing to play them. They screwed up by writing the law as a time bomb, instead of mandating smart guns after the market had already accepted them.

  25. …they’re looking for the iPhone of guns

    NSA Hails Apple’s New iPhone 6 And Smartwatch

  26. Ok 300 million guns, Im pretty sure retrofitting this kind of tech would never happen and even if it was mandated and we all complied with the exception of all those nasty boating accidents that happened before the law passed. I cant think of any criminal type that would install it. So theirs are guaranteed to go bang and yours will usually go bang. Hmm, I need to buy a bigger boat.

  27. M’i bad!

    I just had an acid flash on the “Obamaphone” lady in Cleveland.

    Once this technology gets perfected to a 62.5% reliability, I expect someone to get in front of a camera and shout, “I got me an ObamaGun!”.

    [Sorry, I’ll just wash my mouth out with soap now.]

  28. My gun safe has a biometric lock. Often, after cleaning or wearing latex gloves it won’t open. I have to scrub my hand before it will open. My bet is all the “testing” has been done in a nice clean lab.

  29. A firearm can not have a battery as a single point of failure.

    Note, armatrix has still only incorporated their technology on a .22LR pistol– not what anyone would choose as an ideal or acceptable caliber for many different uses of a firearm.

  30. Smart guns and stupid politicians are a toxic mix. Id rather have a dumb gun and a smart POTUS, which I am not expecting to have in my lifetime.

    • The video stopped too soon. It should have shown the criminal taking the now accessible gun, as a spare for his next target.

  31. Yeah – I don’t want that junk. What happens if the battery dies? Gun dies?

    If I get charged with a speeding ticket is big brother going to remotely dial up my firearm and disable it?

    How does it stand up to electromagnetic radiation? Are they using radiation hardened integrated circuits? After these are popular are criminals going to develop electromagnetic jammers that disable these guns?

    So it works 99.99% of the time. That sounds great, but mine without electronics works 100% of the time and costs a lot less to manufacture.

    “The entrepreneur who does this right could be the Mark Zuckerberg of guns,”

    What exactly is “does it right” mean? Does it mean cops that are responding to shots fired can go into a neighborhood and click a button in their squad car and everyone’s gun in a 1 mile radius gets disabled?

    Who really wants this garbage anyways. I am fairly certain that if smart guns were actually developed and made decently reliable that the very next step is called “legislation.” None of this sounds good to me.

  32. So, the technology could work with 100% accuracy – and should my wife ever need to pick up my gun in self-defense (or me, hers), it will fail 100% of the time.

    No thanks.

  33. That kid should go get a big big bag of the best weed in his area and smoke the heck out of it if anyone thinks that this fingerprint thing will stop criminals from stealing them or even using them then they have better weed than anyone that thinks this will change anything but the cost and the thing that government realy wants in guns is tracking again nothing that would stop a crmial from stealing or using these firearms. The legal consumer is the one that will have all the pain this will cause.

  34. There is another side to this that I haven’t seen brought up yet. There are people that biometrics do not work on. I heard a number of 30% of the population a few years ago. I know chemistry teachers (the legit kind) that basically have no finger prints due to years of handling reagents and such. The number of people for whom biometrics do not work may have shrunk, but one is too many. Couple all off the comments above regarding means of failure, the MTBFR, and the stoopid politicians and we have a recipe for disaster.

    • That is a very good point. I am one such person, but due to a bad case of OCD that led to me picking the skin of my hands and fingers for many years. I do not think I have any fingerprints on any of my fingers. Where I work, they can’t get the fingerprint scanner for when you clock in to recognize my fingerprint so they’ve just skipped it altogether.

      I would not want the only alternative to be a gun where I must put on some watch.

  35. “The iPhone of guns”. What a terrible comparison….
    -Break when dropped
    -Frequently don’t work
    -Can’t get wet
    -Slow response times

  36. People do not like high-tech when it comes to their lives. During the Apollo program, there was for example a suggestion by one of the astronauts that NASA just forgo all the electronics for operating the rocket engine of the spacecraft and rather just have a mechanical valve that they could twist to turn the rocket engine on and off. Far more simple and reliable, and while perhaps not as convenient as electronics, far more secure for if you’re in the middle of space. This suggestion was not adopted however as it was seen as something that would hurt NASA’s image, as spacecraft were supposed to be the pinnacle of American technology. The public would never believe it if they found out that the spacecraft worked with something that sounded like you could buy it down at the local hardware store.

    Another example are battle tanks. Western battle tanks like the Abrams, Challenger, and Leopard, all have a loader (person who loads the ammunition into the main gun), as opposed to the old Soviet designs (and some modern such designs) that have an automated loading system. An automated system reduces the crew needed, but also greatly increases the mechanical complexity, and thus means more parts that could fail on you (they also are slower). Also an extra crewman is handy for changing tracks and doing maintenance and repairs. While tanks like the Abrams are equipped with the most modern electronics, computers, software, sensors, engines (well the Abrams could have a more modern engine if they chose to put one into it), the actual way for the big main gun to get loaded with rounds is that a human being inside the tank physically picks up the big round and loads it into the gun.

    Automotive steering is another one. Some new designs do not have a mechanical linkage between the steering wheel and the steering wheels. While this could reduce weight and perhaps mechanical complexity, it also means entrusting the steering (and hence possibly one’s life) to electronics. Over at an automotive forum where they were discussing this (was some years back), a lot of people were saying they would never drive a car that did not have a mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the steering wheels.

    Advanced technology is great, but when it comes to things where your life depends on it, people often prefer the old-fashioned, manual system for simplicity and reliability.

  37. What’s the over/under on how long it takes the first iGun to get hacked? By bet is about 15 minutes after it hits the market.

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