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New Smartwatch Prevents Smart Gun from Firing

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 32 comments

The James Bond palm-reading gun doesn't have anything on the newest smart gun. Arms manufacturer Armatix's latest product combines a .22 calibre pistol with a 10 round magazine and an RFID smartwatch. The combination of devices would prevent unauthorized use of the weapon by disabling it when not within range of the companion watch. The products are a proof of concept for now, but Armatix says it is involved in "advanced licensing negotiations with several gun manufacturers" to bring the system to the masses. No pricing information has been released.

According to a statement by the company, the Armatix iP1 Pistol and companion watch must be within 15 inches of each other. If that's not close enough for you, there is a safety mechanism release if you enter a PIN code into the watch. The gun has been tested and approved by the ATF.

MORE: Mobile Security Guide: Everything You Need To Know

The waterproof black Armatix iW1 Active RFID Watch features four buttons on the face. Alternative watch straps would follow actual availability. In addition to displaying the date and time, as well as entering the gun's PIN number, you can see the battery level on the gun and the watch. The device's batteries should both last for 5,000 rounds or one year on standby. The company also touts "time-controlled weapon deactivation," but it is not immediately clear how this feature works. The company did not immediately return our inquiry.

RFID technology is the same as that used in some passports and credit cards that have in the past been hacked by people carrying RFID readers. Since this RFID connection in question doesn't transmit secure information other than an unlocking PIN, it isn't a huge security concern for now, but Bluetooth could provide a more secure connection.

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  • -2 Hide
    icepick314 , February 20, 2014 9:56 AM
    Good one.While you have someone trying to harm you and coming at you with a knife, you fiddle with your watch trying to enter PIN to unlock your gun.I'm all for gun control and license but this one is one of those asinine idea like 10 or less-round clip and firing pin stamping...
  • 0 Hide
    USAFRet , February 20, 2014 10:12 AM
    Well...that's about a stupid idea.
  • 5 Hide
    permanoob , February 20, 2014 10:22 AM
    If you read, the PIN is just for releasing the 15 inch tether on the RFID.
  • 0 Hide
    czar1020 , February 20, 2014 10:45 AM
    I know its madness but I have two hands, and if shit hits the fan I may not have a watch on the arm that is holding the gun.
  • 2 Hide
    bloodroses75 , February 20, 2014 10:51 AM
    So I guess instead of someone disarming you they 'dishand' you to take your watch as well?
  • 0 Hide
    permanoob , February 20, 2014 11:15 AM
    I know its madness but I have two hands, and if shit hits the fan I may not have a watch on the arm that is holding the gun.
    That is madness. You're going to naturally fire from one hand. So you should naturally wear the watch on one hand. Seems pretty elementary.
  • -2 Hide
    Jayson Morrow , February 20, 2014 11:37 AM
    "hey billy look, i found dads new gun!!!!!"BANG BANG!!!!..??????... this stupid trigger wont move. I had you in my sights too......what a piece junk". Yea.. i can see this technology being usless..... OH LOOK another new storry about a kid killing himself/another kid while playing with a normal gun.... hmmm... yep USELESS technology.......
  • 2 Hide
    RCguitarist , February 20, 2014 11:47 AM
    If I was asleep at night and someone broke into my house, I would now have to not only get my gun from the safe on my nightstand, but also strap on a watch. That could be catastrophic timewise. I'll just keep my guns in a safe and when on my person, very guarded. The palm print or microscopic RFID hand implant method is what I am waiting for.
  • 3 Hide
    Durandul , February 20, 2014 12:13 PM
    I know its madness but I have two hands, and if shit hits the fan I may not have a watch on the arm that is holding the gun.
    If you have a handgun, and you are firing it singlehanded, you probably shouldn't be using a handgun.
  • 0 Hide
    Jayson Morrow , February 20, 2014 12:19 PM
    whats the point of having a gun if you always need to go open the safe to get it? With this system you can have the gun in your night stand, watch on your wrist (its over 15 inches away from the gun) while you sleep... someone breaks in, you open the draw (gun engaged) and go see whats going on.
  • 9 Hide
    USAFRet , February 20, 2014 12:24 PM
    "hey billy look, i found dads new gun!!!!!"BANG BANG!!!!..??????... this stupid trigger wont move. I had you in my sights too......what a piece junk". Yea.. i can see this technology being usless..... OH LOOK another new storry about a kid killing himself/another kid while playing with a normal gun.... hmmm... yep USELESS technology.......

    If dad is that careless/stupid, maybe he should rethink the idea of having a loaded firearm in the house with little kids around.
    Smartwatch or no.

    If the kid can find and access the gun, he can find the watch as well.
    This seems to be just another version of access control. But with more problems. I've lost/misplaced far more wristwatches than I have firearms.

    Two words: gun safe. Problem solved 100 years ago.
  • 1 Hide
    dalethepcman , February 20, 2014 1:09 PM
    I just don't see how this tech is useful... Its an RFID. All someone has to do is scan your watch with their smartphone and bingo, they can use your gun. Or worse, wear their own watch with a universal RFID emulator...Biometrics will help, RFID with its history of being super secure (/sarcasm) will not.
  • -2 Hide
    ddpruitt , February 20, 2014 2:19 PM
    It's clear that from the comments and the voting that most here have never handled a handgun. You always use two hands to fire, unless you're trying to miss, so the PIN isn't overly useful in an emergency situation. Second a gun should be locked away with a trigger lock or the pin removed for storage. If someone can fire your gun when it's been properly stored you bet your ass a flimsy piece of silicon isn't going to do the trick either.This type of device is only useful for people who don't follow basic gun safety to begin with, and I seriously doubt that those people are going to buy one of these.
  • 0 Hide
    audiophillia , February 20, 2014 2:20 PM
    I see a lot of criticize in the comment section. I think its important to remember the first wave or iteration of a product is never its perfect form. There is potential for gun id system to prevent unauthorized use. a fail safe if a child got a hold of you gun(while it should be in a locked safe. I see no problem with a second layer of safety). What if your out hunting the gun would try to find other watch users within a certain area to prevent discharging when other people hunting could be hit. If you got disarmed some how the the gun would be useless. Or maybe you could the chip to locate the stole weapon like the Find my Phone app. I want to see where this technology goes.
  • 4 Hide
    gwwerner , February 20, 2014 2:20 PM
    Something like this could be great for police, especially during a riot. Also, it would be great for prison guards. If someone grabs your gun out of its holster, just keep the watch away from them and they won't be able to use it. Fighting someone with one hand while keeping the other hand as far away as possible will look funny, but it's better than getting shot. As far as preventing accidental shootings, I doubt it will help much. Most people will probably store the watch with the gun.
  • -2 Hide
    jodrummersh , February 20, 2014 2:27 PM
    Naysayers will not acknowledge that this would likely solve 99% of accidental/unnecessary gun fatalities.For the poster who can't wear his watch to bed, fuck you, you're fucking retarded.For the poster who says "derp, I need to enter a pin to kill people?!" Fuck you, you're retarded.For the poster who says "if a kid can find dad's gun he can find dads's watch," fuck you you're retarded. Believe me when I say, if a watch can turn on your beloved gun to kill mode, you will have no fucking problem wearing it 24/7And for the poster who says "you can scan someone's watch with your smartphone ...and bingo!" fuck you, you're retarded. What home-invading thief even has a chance to spray bleach in the dog's eyes let alone stand around scanning a watch with their smartphone? This isn't a James Bond film where you have all the time in the world, this is a real-life East Oakland home invasion, where a gun owner WEARING a trigger watch to bed will smoke you the second you walk into their room, and even if you steal their gun you will not be able to shoot them. Period.
  • 0 Hide
    imsurgical , February 21, 2014 3:15 AM
    There are some obvious flaws in this tech involving the application of the tech itself in the form of a watch, say the band itself is broken and falls from your wrist or body even further than 15" and in some emergency a person is trying to defend themselves? Or the watch itself is mistakenly placed in ones own home BECAUSE THEY WILL TAKE IT OFF AT SOME POINT AND NEVER KNOW WHEN THAT MOMENT HITS THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE HAD IT ON, and they're trying to defend themselves? Any extra time or obstacle it takes for a person to defend themselves just means more time for the antagonist to get the upper hand on them.Not only that but do these people making this tech even realize how many unregistered firearms there are out there? Think about how many of those unregistered firearms are in the hands of some idiot trying to antagonize a situation today, in any situation no matter how small or big. I'm not totally biased against some gun control laws or even registering your firearms but this is dumb.
  • 2 Hide
    gggplaya , February 21, 2014 5:39 AM
    This concept is only good for duty officers, even then, it has a fatal flaw. It only fires .22LR which is only designed to kill rabbits or other small game. Some freak hopped up on narcotics won't flinch at 22LR. 22LR is also the most unreliable semi-auto round you can buy, since it's so small. I know because i'm a pistol league and shoot 22LR, the rules in the league allow for dud rounds to not count against you. If they wanted this technology adopted more readily, they should have used a duty caliber like 9mm. However, i understand why they went to 22LR, it's because you need space to house the battery and solenoid in the gun. Any larger round would be hard or impossible to grip. Plus, police officers are the only one's with a real threat of losing their gun during a struggle. Anyone else is statistically negligible. Duty officers are required to arrest a suspect and sometimes have to wrestle them to the ground. Where the suspect can reach for their gun during a struggle. If someone else were to defend themselves from getting raped in a parking garage, they simply wouldn't let them get that close, and if they did, they would try to run away, pull out their gun and shoot them. The key here is they would try to run from the suspect which makes it harder for them to take their gun. Police officers can't do that. Also, if say this gun were stolen and taken home by a thief. It would be pretty simple to defeat, just lock the solenoid in place either up or down to unlock the gun. The only other people this would help are children. Where a stupid parent leaves their gun out of a safe or cable lock. But if a parent wanted to protect their child, a Safe would likely be cheaper than this technology.So in conclusion, you have very unreliable round, coupled with unreliability of a battery drain. Sounds like a real winner.
  • 1 Hide
    Master467 , February 21, 2014 6:48 AM
    Sounds like a real winner.
    Spot on gggplaya. This was only made for California, who passed a really stupid law requiring all handguns to have this... before it was even a thing. This is the only handgun that can be sold in California. That state is such a festering liberal shithole, Tool was right. The only way to fix it is to flush it all away]]The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
  • 0 Hide
    MarkofNovi , February 21, 2014 10:29 AM
    For the price of this firearm and the watch, you could purchase three Glock 19's that work every time the trigger is pulled. No battery required. This company will be out of business before you know it.
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