Gun with a chip: U.S. Army contracts may lead to a smarter firearm


REUTERS.COM October 18, 2019 –
A carbine that can call in an airstrike. A computer-aided scope on a machine
gun that can turn just about anyone into a marksman.

Even firearms that measure and record every movement, from
the angle of the barrel to the precise moment of each shot fired, which could
provide law enforcement with a digital record of police shootings.

The application of information technology to firearms has
long been resisted in the United States by gun owners and law-enforcement
officials who worry they could be hacked, fail at the wrong moment, or invite
government control.

But with the U.S. Army soliciting bids for high-tech
battlefield solutions to create the soldier’s rifle of the future, those
concerns may quickly become irrelevant. The Army is moving forward regardless.

One company seeking an Army contract is working on an
operating system that could be embedded into the gun, which could have
law-enforcement and civilian applications that may reshape the U.S. debate
about gun safety.

“You could accomplish some of the functionality by
duct-taping an iPhone to your gun. However what we offer is the world’s first
truly embedded operating system,” said Melvic Smith, 41, principal owner of
Dimensional Weapons Systems, which bills itself as the first patented
blockchain-based firearms company.

That system could eventually add any number of applications,
Smith said, including “smart gun” technology that would only allow the weapon
to be fired by a designated shooter’s hand.

Smart guns in theory could prevent children from
accidentally firing guns at home, or render stolen guns useless. “Our team is
composed of veterans, law enforcement officers, people that are pro-Second
Amendment to begin with,” Smith said, referring to the amendment in the U.S.
constitution that grants American citizens the right to bear arms.

“But we also have engaged with people in the weapons
manufacturing industry. They actually love the technology. They’re worried
about political backlash.”

One investor interested in the technology said the Army
contracts could “create a market overnight.”

“We need disruptive innovation to tackle the gun violence problem,” said Trevor Neilson, chief executive of i(x) investments, which seeks returns on projects with a positive social impact. [Read More]


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