Military

Personalised, electronic handgun headed for commercialisation

Personalised, electronic handg...
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The 100% electronic O'Dwyer VLe "Smart Gun" is to incorporate biometric authorising technology that should enable it to meet new US requirements for "personalised" handguns according to a joint release from Metal Storm and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).Legislation passed last year in the State of New Jersey requires that "three years after it is determined that personalized handguns are available for retail purposes, it will be illegal-. for any dealer or manufacturer to sell, assign or transfer any handgun unless that handgun is a personalized handgun". The States of New York, Ohio and Tennessee as well as the US Congress, are understood to be preparing similar legislation.The Dynamic Grip Recognition (DGR) biometric authorising technology recently patented by the NJIT will enable the creation of a 'personalised' handgun that is both childproof and personalised to the owner so that absolutely no one else can use it.The O'Dwyer VLe is not only differentiated by its biometric protection, it is the world's first 100% electronic handgun and uses new ballistics technology developed in Australia by Metal Storm that has no moving parts, no separate magazine, no ammunition feed, and outstrips conventional firing systems. The seven shot single barrel VLe can fire multiple rounds with a single pull of the trigger at a rate equivalent to 60,000 rounds per minute so that a three shot burst appears to be a single shot.The biometric system will be incorporated into the prototype design that previously specified a security system based on an electronic keying that recognises authorised users who are wearing a special transponder ring.According to Metal Storm, the O'Dwyer VLe electronic handgun allows for the incorporation of a range of 'personalising technology' the original design of the weapon rather than as an 'add on'.The sense of this approach to reducing shooting incidents is obvious (gun deaths in the US in 2000 totalled more than 28,000) and the market in the US (where more than 943,000 handguns were manufactured in 2001) and internationally for this kind of technology is undoubtedly significant.

9 comments
Mr Stiffy
Hmmmmmmm I do like clever electronics devices.... until they fail, jam or the need arises for legitimate circumvention. Then I hate them. This Judge Dredd / Robocop hand gun business - it\'s just bullshit. There are a zillion hand guns in existance. They are easy enough to make by hand, or at speed with NC machine tools etc... This mad prison state, corporate warfare USA and all of it\'s cultural propganda..... All armed to the teeth and shoving the drugs in.... And this crap being promoted as the flower of the weed.
Facebook User
The thing thing that strikes me as the most boneheaded part of a biometric authorizations is this: 1. Palm-reader style authorized weapon will not work with gloves. \" Hold on Mr. Bad guy, let me take my gloves off so I can authorize my gun to shoot you if you try to hurt me.\" Or does it not get cold in New Jersey? 2. Voice authorization. Lol, the authors of this bill have never been in a high-stress encounter before. Your voice *will* change because of combat induced stresses. Making the recognition \"fuzzy\" won\'t lock out everyone, and may lock out the proper user. 3. Dongle, ring, or bracelet. All can be removed from a person and used by a third party to gain access. Make it harder to the innocent to protect themselves and only the guilty will thrive.
Leo Elderkin
To keep your children from accidental gun death is a noble cause, but as the other commenters here point out--- biometric activation may likely cause (once again) the law abiding citizen to be killed trying to defend themselves on the street or in their home as they fumble to change the batteries that went dead because the gun wasn't used for 5 years. Embeddable RFID tags the size of a grain of rice can be the solution to the activating "key" device. Embed the tag subdermally near enough to the hand that will hold the gun so the wireless interrogator in the firearm can establish a breakable link (in case the fire arm is activated, then dropped or taken), and you will sell me on the reliability of ownership only mayhem. Oh yeah--- make it so the firearm's default dead battery mode disables use...
Whatcha Gonna Do
Sorry, I will keep my gunpowder fired weapons that work......... that is the best part about owning fire arms. The last american made piece of macinery not designed to break. Colt didnt get a bailout......
NSATC
This is more pointless and cowardly gun control. You store your weapons in a safe when not used and keep them at hand when in use. Any device which interferes with any authorized person instantly using a defensive firearm, or introduces another point of failure, is not to be considered for civilian, police or military use. Take note that MetalStorm, which is not an American gun company, has never produced a hand held or shoulder fired firearm for public sale. Theirs are electrically fired "Roman Candles" with multiple, stacked charges...which have problems all their own too numerous to list. It is as much a reliable firearm as it's GyroJet predecessors. Notice also no US companies of note interested? That is because the people who buy their products are adamantly opposed to this. Do fearful people buy firearms? No, they pass laws to restrict them.
Andrew Christianson
While this is an interesting concept, calling it childproof when they're relying on an electronic key is somewhat too optimistic. I've lost track of how many times my nieces have gotten into their grandma's jewelry (where I suspect the "key ring" will end up sooner or later if this technology were to be used in the household). Metal Storm is a project I've watched with some interest. While it does have certain drawbacks (the the main ones being that it requires a source of electricity to trigger the propellant charges and that the design makes it difficult or impossible to reload spent cartridge tubes) it is a solid system that does provide some significant advantages over traditional automatic handguns. The bullet storage system allows for multiple 'barrels' of rounds to be stored and stacked in a multitude of configurations without making the firearm significantly heavier than a standard handgun, as an example. Despite what NSATC claimed (who apparently decided they couldn't be bothered to do the research) the system is stable with few problems. However, this particular firearm worries me. As far as I can tell from reading the article, the gun apparently would have to be turned in or exchanged in some form in order to get it reloaded once the ammunition has been expended, since there is apparently no way of swapping out ammunition, and it has no magazine of any kind. The last thing someone needs when they're fighting for their life is for their gun to run out of ammo and be entirely unable to give it more! In short, good intentions, poor execution.
Mike Aguilar
I prefer the idea of an implanted RFID chip that authorizes a user. This would mean that even in the (waaaahhhhhh!) colder parts of the country for those that "need" gloves, there would be no problem if they had to all of a sudden drop everything in their arms, remove their overcoat (it's cold, remember?) and pull up the long and warm shirts and stuff (Remember, again, it's cold enough for gloves) and then fumble with their holster in their gloves to draw their weapon and use it in a split-second life or death situation, there would be no problem whatsoever. The chip would be powered by the body and automatically disabled forever if removed. Rings can be stolen. Fingers can even be cut off and pressed to a print sensor. Chips removed from the body become worthless as does the stolen handgun. Imagine, not being killed for your handgun because the thief wouldn't be able to use it.
Joseph Schneider
what would happen if you zapped one of thees guns with a tazer? use of embedded RFID tags sounds nice, but is laser spectroscopy a possibility? seeing as how all action is electric instead of mechanical, could law enforcement agencies broadcast a signal to disable the gun or jam RFID authorization?
Wesley Bruce
Good design however the law will have less effect on firearm casualties. Most are suicide so no technology protects because the shooter is both the legal owner and victim. The metal storm system will make a good hand gun. I was on the companies mailing list for quite a while after suggesting a fix to a web site glitch. Bio-metrics will prevent a few cases of guns being used by kids and thieves. However they only a few percent of the total.