‘Smart pistol’ may shift to police, then consumer markets
In hopes to eventually reach the consumer market, German gun-maker Armatix GmbH is switching targets to U. S. police and law enforcement agencies.
Fox News reported that safety advocates want to see the Smart System iP1, dubbed the smart pistol, issued to police officers, according to a Washington Post reporter Michael Rosenwald.
Originally marketing efforts included the consumer market with product releases planned to commercial stores. However the idea was met with resistance and the few retail outlets that began carrying the gun have pulled them from their shelves.
In an article written by Rosenwald, he writes “The idea: If the technology is good enough for police officers, it should be good enough for consumers. Armatix is developing a 9mm smart gun targeted at the law enforcement market. The company hopes to offer other controls besides a watch, including a version that responds to voices.”
The National Rifle Association has raised concerns that the government will require all firearms to be equipped with similar safety technology. Gun-rights groups and gun shops have heard the loud out-cry from gun owners. The shops have removed the guns from their inventory.
The .22-caliber pistol is designed to only work when it is close to a wristwatch which receives a signal from the gun. The ultimate goal is a safer weapon.
According to Fox News, when the watch is activated by a PIN number and placed near the gun, it sends a signal to unlock the weapon. A green light can be seen on the back of the grip when the “safety” is off. If is not activated, the light remains red and it cannot be used.
German gun designer, Ernst Mauch, started with Heckler & Koch GmbH. While there he assisted in the development of the assault rifle used by U.S. troops in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The 58-year-old left the company, moving to Armatix and helped launch the new Smart System iP1.
Mauch plans to meet with U.S. police officials this fall. The Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, an advocacy group for gun safety, is assisting him in his efforts.