Ready, Aim, Id Check: In Wrong Hands, Gun Won’t Fire
New Jersey Institute of Technology researchers are developing a gun that will not fire if its built-in circuitry and software fail to recognize the shooter’s grip. “We can build a brain inside the gun,” says electrical engineering professor Timothy Chang, who designed the grip-recognition system’s hardware.
The system employs sensors in the weapon’s handle to measure the amount of pressure exerted by the hand as it squeezes the trigger, and then software designed by professor Michael Recce checks the grip against a series of stored patterns of authorized shooters to find a match. Recce estimates that pulling a trigger takes one-tenth of a second, which is enough time for a computer to match the patterns and process the authorization.
The first tests were done under simulation, but more recent tests involved live ammunition and actual semiautomatic handguns; the circuitry and pattern-recognition software currently resides in a laptop that the pressure sensor-outfitted weapon is wired to, but Chang plans to embed the digital signal processing elements into the gun’s magazine over the next several months.
The institute’s Donald H. Sebastian says the system boasts a recognition rate of 90 percent, which should increase with the installation of additional sensors. The gun could one day be equipped with Global Positioning System receivers, accelerometers, and other components that could record the time and direction of gunfire and be used to re-create events in crime investigations.
The technology is especially promising as a deterrent against accidental resulting from unsecured guns falling into the hands of children or other unauthorizedeathsd people.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the