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Security The Military United States

Gun With Wireless Arming Signal Goes On Sale Soon 457

Posted by timothy
from the but-it's-common-sense-don'tcha-see dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Armatix has built a pistol that will disarm itself when it is taken away from a watch that sends it a wireless arming signal. The .22 caliber guns will go on sale in the US within months, and the initial price is 7,000 euro. Higher caliber models will follow. To activate the gun, users must enter a pin code on the wristwatch, and then keep it within roughly 20cm of the gun. If the person is disarmed, the gun can't be used against them. Also coming soon this year, civilians will also be able to buy three-shot Tasers, rubber bullets, as well as Heckler and Koch black rifles." This might not be good news for the citizens of New Jersey.
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Gun With Wireless Arming Signal Goes On Sale Soon

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  • by Shikaku (1129753) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:03AM (#30961490)

    I gotta enter the pin so that I can use my gun to defend myself.

    • by ebonum (830686) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:10AM (#30961514)

      Better yet. Sell a small device that jams the signal! Disarm him without firing a shot. Then you can take your time to aim.

      • by happyslayer (750738) <david@isisltd.com> on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:46AM (#30961726)

        And on the opposite side--send out a signal that authorizes any weapon!

        If the authentication takes place only within the watch, then the weapon's mechanism is just looking for an arming signal--probably something simple--and you could mass jam or arm weapons with a strong enough transmitter (I'm thinking of those shopping-cart brake systems that people have been pranking...). Heck, you can even get your own watch, put in your own pin, and steal any weapon and it will work!

        OTOH, if the weapons' system is tied to a specific watch, then the failure rate will be through the roof! And, of course, you can disarm everyone easily because the systems are so strict.

        As an aside, this would make locating weapons extremely easy--all you have to do is walk around with an RF scanner, searching for watch and/or weapons signals.

        I see a big market for jammers, spoofers, RF scanners, and a multitude of other mini-electronic RF products. I better go take some spectrum-analysis classes soon.

        • by e3m4n (947977) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @10:33AM (#30962028)
          what if, instead, the gun isn't just listening but also the transmitter making the watch is a passive RFID tag? you could still steal the data much the same way passport rfid collection works, but the likelihood of knowing which tag to use within the short time you disarmed someone and tried to use their weapon against them is unlikely. I don't see much civillian or military use for this. When I need a weapon to fire it needs to be as simple and straight forward as possible. One of my home defense pistols is a .357 revolver simply because there is so little that can possibly go wrong with them.

          I do see this being marketed to police who have the highest risk of having their service weapon taken and used on them. I'm not so sure about the whole watch/pin-code concept though. Most people are right handed and wear their watches on their left hand. 20cm is not an overly large distance and while 2-handed shooting is more accurate, there could be cases where the officer has to shoot 1-handed. If they used a passive RFID, maybe fingerless gloves or, if possible, sub-dermal implant would make more sense. I bet these designers got their idea from the 1995 Judge Dredd movie where the gun was bound to the owners DNA
        • by aurispector (530273) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @10:43AM (#30962096)

          Well, I gotta hand it to you; you guys nailed pretty much everything wrong with this idea in the first three posts. The only people who could love this idea are liberal gun grabbers who are afraid somebody might get hurt with a gun. The idea that it would be good for police is equally silly - the added layer of complexity can only further muddy the waters at times when speed and reliability are paramount. I already mourn for the police officer who will be killed when this system fails.

          Guns aren't supposed to be safe, they're supposed to be dangerous as hell and for a very good reason. The entire mindset that spawned this abortion ignores the most basic natural right to self defense. Said mindset also has an unconscionably low opinion of people's judgments in such situations. It's the same mindset that recommends "passive resistance" for rape victims, as if a woman lying dead in an alley, raped and strangles with her own pantyhose is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to a cop exactly why she had to shoot her attacker.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by darkpixel2k (623900)

          I see a big market for jammers, spoofers, RF scanners, and a multitude of other mini-electronic RF products. I better go take some spectrum-analysis classes soon.

          Forget that, just rob them when they are in the middle of making microwave popcorn...

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 30, 2010 @10:46AM (#30962116)

        Unfortunately you are probably dead on in your statement, but it won't be muggers you have to worry about disarming you, it will be government agencies.

        This type of legislation / device is a wet dream for those who do not understand the premise or need for the 2nd Amendment.

        Civil unrest? The serfs don't agree with you? No worries when they try to resist your commands and actually attempt to revolt, disable their means of meaningful resistance!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          On the contrary, I think it's is the wet dream for those that DO understand the Second Amendment, but don't want it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:16AM (#30961560)

      The idea is that the PIN will be entered when the watch is put on. Then you can put the gun where you can quickly get it, knowing that your kids can't use it even if they find it. Obviously the watch should disable itself when the wrist band is opened or torn. I'd worry about the battery life: What good is a gun that you can't use when you need it?

    • by Boogaroo (604901) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:27AM (#30961606) Homepage

      At 20cm the average person WILL move their hand/watch past the authentication range. Will they need re-authentication.
      The gun will fire if the attacker has twisted the gun to face the victim because the watch is within range.
      The victim will need to fire with their off-hand because they used their good arm to defend against the initial attack. (This happened recently here.) The gun will not fire because it isn't close enough to the watch.

      This setup is a recipe for disaster. In the name of safety, we will give up everything that gives us a chance against the bad guys.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by johnshirley (709044)

        All fine points. And don't forget that it's only a .22. One would need to achieve a series of headshots to effectively stop a violent criminal actor. Center of mass with a .22 won't stop a violent actor intent on killing you. And at the 7000 euro price point, they're not going to sell many of these except to maybe a few government agencies or people with more money than brains.

        • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @12:05PM (#30962712)

          Mod Parent Up!

          I understand slashdot is full of people with different backgrounds, but it becomes easily apparent when people get outside of what they're comfortable with.

          A .22 is a very very useless hand to hand weapon and I don't know of any law enforcement in the world that would use the gun powder equivalent of a pea shooter. Unless you get a Boom Headshot.

          There was an article a while back on how US soldiers were picking up and using the AK-47 and using them. One reason was most US guns use the Nato .223, which tops out at 4.1g the AK-47 uses a round that tops out at 10g (.22 tops out at g, 9mm at 9.5). People would keep coming after the first shot. Now if I have a suicide bomber running straight for me I want something that I know will make him stop.

          For hunting they're mainly used for squirrels and the such. People hunting larger game go for larger guns.

          The other being that our guns were in such tight tolerance that in the field they had great range and accuracy ... if you kept them clean. The AK-47 could be buried in a pile of sand. picked up, brushed off and fired.

          *And the awesome 30-06 topped out at 14g. And you knew it. I spent an entire day shooting nothing but that at a friends once. The next day I had a palm sized bruise in on my shoulder. Oh but it was fun.

          • by joshki (152061) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @04:24PM (#30965134)

            Fail.

            No Soldier, Sailor, or Marine I've ever known "picks up an AK-47" to use.

            There is absolutely no advantage to using an AK-47 over an M4 or M16 -- in fact there are significant disadvantages. Logistics is one -- where are you going to get ammunition for your battlefield pickup AK? Are you going to pick up some old left-over 1970's ammo the bad guys use? Ball ammo that doesn't fragment like XM-193 does, nor penetrate like M855 or SS109 does? Also, the legal jeopardy a person who did that unnecessarily would put themselves in would be an issue as well.

            The M4 actually has a dust cover -- wonder why? It's so that dirt and sand don't get in the action. The AK has none of that -- and will certainly fail if it has sand and dirt dumped into it. Either weapon will fail if dirt and sand get into the action.

            The weight of the bullet has very little to do with the performance of the bullet against the human body -- trust me, you'd far rather be hit by an old 7.62x39 ball round than a modern XM193, SS109, or 77 grain TAP round in 5.56 (any of which will cut right through IIIA body armor, while 7.62x39 will not).

            And btw -- there's no such thing as "Nato 223" -- the spec is 5.56x45 NATO, and there is a significant difference between .223 and 5.56 -- such that firing 5.56 ammo from a weapon chambered in .223 may result in the weapon failing. The diameter of the bullet is the same (.224"), but the chamber specifications are different.

            Ironically, you posted that people get outside their comfort zone, then you posted outside your realm of knowledge.
            The one thing you did get right is that .22LR is not generally considered adequate for a self-defense round.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Sigh: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=118133 [physicsforums.com]

              In addition, the NATO round was designed off of the .223. It's like saying that Ubuntu isn't Debian because some of the packages won't work in it. .223 is a whole lot faster to write out and that's how it was originally designed.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.223_Remington [wikipedia.org]
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56x45mm_NATO [wikipedia.org]

              With the U.S. military adoption of the ArmaLite AR-15 as the M16 rifle in 1963, the .223 Remington was standardized as the 5.56x45mm. Howev

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by joshki (152061)

                No -- if you put a 5.56 round into a .223 chambered weapon, you run the risk of blowing up the weapon. The chamber specs are different.

                The bullet is the same diameter (.224"), but the chamber is different, which means it is dangerous to interchange them -- and incorrect to state that they are the same, which is why I called you on it.

                Citing Wikipedia as an authoritative source on anything firearm related destroys your credibility, btw, as does all the other errors you made in your post.

                Citing a "physicsfor

      • by Ogive17 (691899) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @11:27AM (#30962444)
        The way I interpret it, once you punch in the pin on the watch the gun will work any time it's brought within 20cm of the watch until you turn the watch off. So even if you holster the weapon, when you bring it back out it's automatically "initiated"
    • by complete loony (663508) <Jeremy.Lakeman@gm a i l . c om> on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:39AM (#30961680)
      Why not use a challenge response system that communicates with low voltage current that passes over the skin. Then you can disable the weapon the moment direct physical contact is lost. Of course you'd need to ensure the current was low enough that it didn't cause your trigger finger to spasm...
      • by MBGMorden (803437) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @01:23PM (#30963464)

        Because the reality is people don't want smart guns PERIOD. Every time you make a gun more complex it becomes more failure prone. The Glocks that almost all police departments use don't even have a safety on it period - because it's an extra point of failure and something to fiddle with. Just like code, a good gun should have SIMPLICITY, both in operation and in design, as a major design goal. Needless "safety" features and ESPECIALLY anything that depends on a battery are needless fluff. A nice semi-stiff double action trigger pull is a perfectly viable "safety" mechanism for 90% of shooters. For the other 10% they need nothing more than a simple manual safety.

  • by BlackPignouf (1017012) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:08AM (#30961506)

    You want a perfectly "safe" weapon?
    Just don't buy one.

    There! Can I have 7000?

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:10AM (#30961524)

    . . . remember to take his watch, as well as the weapon.

  • by StormyWeather (543593) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:11AM (#30961536) Homepage

    I was getting really sick of the Heckler and Koch purple rifles. That's progress!

  • What's the big deal?
  • by Neoprofin (871029) <neoprofin AT hotmail DOT com> on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:20AM (#30961572)
    Great.

    If I go target shooting I have to play "Pass the Wristwatch" to enjoy it as a communal activity and pay 10x as much for the privileged. If want to use it for self defense I have to wear the watch at all times and go through an extra layer of complications. Better yet in that situation if the gun is taken from me as we wrestle on the ground it's entirely likely that the gun will never move far enough to deactivate before I'm shot repeatedly in the chest and the watch and gun are taken.

    Sounds like a lot of money to acquire a possibility of safety as well as making previously safe activities more complicated.
    • by arielCo (995647)

      I had the same thought about the inconvenience for self-defense ("someone's out there - now let me put on the damn wristwatch...").

      Then I figured it must be really good for law enforcement, where you already wear a lot of paraphernalia for the whole day. When I first read about the idea some years ago, the problem addressed was cops getting shot with their own guns.

      • by Neoprofin (871029)
        I'm still curious how effective it will be given the close quarters nature of an officer having his gun taken in the first place, and just how many departments are willing to take up a system that could leave their officers with an expensive rock in their holsters potentially.

        That said, $10,000 is an awfully expensive solution when most departments can get Glocks with a volume discount in the $300-400 range.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by markdavis (642305)

          >and just how many departments are willing to take up a system that could leave their officers with an expensive rock in their holsters potentially.

          Oh, but of course the POLICE, CIA, FBI, and MILITARY would be exempt! And, oh... the murderers and robbers and such would be exempt too, since they won't have to purchase legal guns like we law-abiding citizens do.

          I am not anti-technology... I think such research is a GOOD idea. But wireless? No. Mandated by law???? No.

  • Wouldn't a fingerprint scanner on the grip be more reliable and safer in case you were disarmed?
  • Just what I needed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by OpenSourced (323149) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:24AM (#30961592) Journal

    Just what I needed, a gun that will stop working when the batteries run out (I suppose that will be the behavior). Anyway, I suppose that can be useful for prison guards and similar. Till the inmates learn to take the watch with the gun, of course.

  • 7000 euro seems a little steep for a handgun. Especially a .22lr. You can buy a S&W 22A or Beretta U22 Neos for under $300, even at today's elevated prices.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      7000 euro seems a little steep for a handgun.

      Hell, here in the US, you can buy a stolen piece for the price of a bag of rock cocaine.

      I think it's in the 2nd Amendment.

  • Here is another interesting tech that would be very useful in some contexts, and scary in others.

    Burris has built one of the most sophisticated rifle scopes we’ve ever seen. It has a laser rangefinder that can automatically adjust your sights to compensate for the fall of each bullet over long distances. Just point the crosshairs at the target, push a button on the side of the scope, and a bright red dot will show you exactly where the bullet will fall. We were able to easily hit targets at 400 and 700 meters without any experience at long-range rifle shooting.

    Critical weakness: pure black target.

    • More critical weaknesses - no accounting for muzzle velocity. At 500 yards, a bullet traveling at 4000 fps will not hit the same spot as one traveling at 3000 fps as it's not had time to fall as far. And of course, with any scope there are still the issues of wind and drift incurred by the barrel warming up over repeated shots.
  • by bsDaemon (87307) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:35AM (#30961650)
    Rubber bullets kill, too. In fact, cops shouldn't even be allowed to have them because the perception that they are "non-leathal" just encourages their use -- just like the beanbag rounds. There have been cases where the beanbags come out flat with the edges parallel to the ground, sort of like a frisbee and that the impact at that angle caused severe lacerations. People have died from those, too.

    I'm not anti-gun -- I have many myself. I grew up around them, and I am completely comfortable with them. I also know that if I point a loaded gun with real bullets at a person, I better be absolutely willing to kill them when I pull the trigger. Cops and soldiers are trained to know this, too. But they seem to be more than willing to pop off rubber bullets and beanbags for "crowd control," and death has been a consequence a higher-than-zero number of times.

    The last thing we need is Joe Bob getting ahold of them and shooting at cats, neighbours, or even robbers. You know all those times that burglars have sued property owners over getting hurt while they're there to rob them? Imagine the lawsuits over "he shot me with a rubber bullet, broke my rib, punctured my lung and now just look at me!" I also envision a slew of YouTube videos of drunk-ass morons popping their friends with these to see what it feels like.

    In short, this is pretty much the worst idea ever made.
    • by Neoprofin (871029) <neoprofin AT hotmail DOT com> on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:43AM (#30961706)
      There's already enough to horrify you on Youtube and Myspace with kids who like to play with Daddies Guns to put up badass pictures for their friends to see, and yet people still blame firearms when negligence happens. Every firearm I've ever purchased lays it out plane as day:

      1) Know your target and what's behind it.
      2) Assume every gun is loaded.
      3) Do not aim at or pull the trigger on anything you don't want to kill or destroy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Look on the bright side... Eventually the number of Youtube videos containing drunk-ass morons will decrease :)

  • by mbone (558574) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:39AM (#30961676)

    In a personal defense situation, this is security by obscurity. It will only help as long as the mugger doesn't know what the little red / green light means.

  • Looking at their page, it looks like the gun is armed by a fingerprint sensor on the watch, and disarmed when the gun moves away from the hand or after a timeout period. This makes the gun poor in most police and self defense scenarios; you now have to draw the weapon, and put your finger on the watch. Holster the gun for any reason and the gun disarms.

  • Here's an idea... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wjsteele (255130)
    How about pricing it in Dollars and giving the measurements in Inches. That way us US customers (who is, after all, the apparent market) can actually buy and understand it.

    BTW... I'll be damned if I'm going to use a gun that also makes me put on a watch. Imaging having to deal with that in the middle of the night when someone tries to break into your house. Let's see, can I use the watch on my left hand and have the gun in my right? 20cm... let's see... that 2.54 cm per inch, so 20 div... BAM... No,
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:56AM (#30961788) Homepage

    The .22 caliber guns will go on sale in the US within months, and the initial price is 7,000 euro.

    A $12,000 .22 is a completely safe weapon because no one in their right mind would buy one. It's useless for defense unless you're being attacked by balloons, it'll pop those.

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