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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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South African pioneers "Smart Firearm"

Quote:
Originally Posted by "CNN.com"
PRETORIA, South Africa (CNN) -- More than 15 years ago, Nic van Zyl started developing an "Intelligent Firearm" that would operate only if it identified its user as legitimate.

Now, science and technology has caught up with his dream, and he hopes to see it become a reality by the end of the year, incorporating biometrics and cameras into the finished version.

The idea to create a smart gun to combat firearm misuse was inspired by the high crime rates in van Zyl's home country, South Africa.

Fed up with hearing of stories about guns falling into the wrong hands, including children and police officers being robbed of their firearms, van Zyl decided to do something about it.

Since then his whole family has worked on the project, securing patents throughout the world and working with companies and governments to develop the idea.

Van Zyl, a former civil engineer, said his aim was to address shortcomings of ordinary firearms, making them safer and reducing the number of accidents.

"The problem with the firearm is that it is a dumb killing machine. It has no recognition of the identification of its owner and no accountability."

His objectives included personalizing the weapon, so that it could be used only by its owner and other identified users, to record the history of the weapon's actions making it more accountable, and to make firearm licenses renewable.

To personalize the firearm, van Zyl has incorporated biometrics technology into the trigger.

He said that his first efforts were rather "crude."

"When we first started, fingerprint sensors were so big and cumbersome that they weren't practical for use in firearms. They were also very slow to identify fingerprints," he said.

"Now, they are so small, just a couple of millimeters in size. Over the years, science and technology has come up with the answers."

His first prototype was built in 1994.

Biometrics technology means the weapon is linked to a user. When a registered thumbprint comes into contact with the biometrics reader on the gun, it enables the weapon to work, identifying the print within a timeframe of between a third of a second and a quarter of a second.

Van Zyl has also incorporated technology similar to that used in camera phones into his Intelligent Firearm.

The weapon has a camera inside it, and images are sent in real time to a central database. For example, in the case of a police officer's gun, the information would be sent to central police headquarters.

The system means the location of the gun can be monitored at all times.

The data recorded includes the location and time, and would be used as evidence in court, van Zyl said.

The final element of the gun is to make the license to own one renewable -- something that does not happen under current South African law.

It would work in the same way as other subscription services, so that authorities can keep up-to-date records of gun users.

Van Zyl said he was currently in negotiations, including with the British Department of Trade and Industry, for the product to be developed and manufactured.

"It's finally all coming to fruition. We hope to have it in the market place by the end of the year," he said, adding that he was currently looking for a financial partner.

He believed his invention would be most useful in the military, particularly for soldiers on peacekeeping missions, for police officers and for security guards.

Without advances in technology, his invention would not have become so close to reality, he said.

"Ultimately, it's about saving lives and making lives safer, and to change the opinion in some countries about gun culture."
Here is the original link to CNN.com if you're interested. http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/01/31/s...arm/index.html

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 01:09 PM
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South African pioneers "Smart Firearm"

I don't know how well that would fly with the general gun-owning public...

Scenario: you're being mugged and you need to draw your gun & fire that very second... but upon reaching for your gun, you see:

Attempting to initialize GunOS, please wait.
Establishing connection [********************] 100% done.
Authenticating user [*******-------------] 35% done.



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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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LOL!! Nice one!

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 03:58 PM
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South African pioneers "Smart Firearm"

you do realize that beretta had designed that over 5 years ago and it is being tested with the israeli miltary as we speak

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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You do realize that this is just an article I posted because I found it interesting, right? It's not my info.... and I'm not saying it's even remotely accurate. I just put it up for shits and giggles.. and because bunny boy is from South Africa.

Besides, Beretta isn't the only company that's been designing a biometric "lock".

I believe H&K has designed a holster with a finger print lock. They figured it would be easier and cheaper to design a "universal" holster to fit many guns than to just manufacturer a brand new gun with an integrated trigger lock. Furthermore, I think Smith and Wesson came up with the idea of wearing an "ID ring". Basically, you wear a magnetically coded ring that will interact with your firearm when it touches the surface of the handle. There's all kinds of stuff out there! This is just the tip of the proverbial ice berg.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 04:15 PM
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I also remember seeing a TV report that said most newer guns are being manufactured with a tiny serial # imprinted on the little piston that fires the bullet. This way, every bullet casing is "engraved" with this serial # when it is fired. This doesn't sound too hard for a criminal to get around (just file down the piston a bit, right?) but the hope is that it will help track down criminals because most people don't bother to pick up empty bullet casings off the ground. IIRC, the serial is so small that you can't see it without magnification (so most gun owners don't even know it's there).


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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From a safety standpoint, H & K has had a special locking mechanism that they installed well before any such device was required. Inside the stock, a tiny lock that turns a screw forces the guns "safety de-cock" mechanism to engage partially, preventing the firing pin from moving forward. If you try to force the trigger back, the arm attached to the hammer will break, disconnecting it from the spring and rendering it useless.

A good safety feature for protecting children against themselves. Of course, if you lock your guns up like a responsible adult should, devices like that won't ever be necessary. ...for children anyway.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 05:34 PM
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i also saw a gun that has a computer chip in the handle the only person that can use it has to have a ring on any finger... so if the gun is taken away they other person can use it without the ring, now if they other person takes your gun and the ring... YOU SHOULDNT HAVE A GUN!


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by "MetalCord"
Furthermore, I think Smith and Wesson came up with the idea of wearing an "ID ring". Basically, you wear a magnetically coded ring that will interact with your firearm when it touches the surface of the handle.
Hey man, did you even read my post??

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 05:46 PM
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no i didnt read all of it!...haha get over it


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