Smart Gun Technology, MARS and Cobalt Kinetics will include an onboard power source and central data module.
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The U.S. Army Next Generation Squad Weapon program promises to usher in a new era of infantry weapon. A new platform, with a new 6.8mm cartridge, the NGSW attempts to deliver greater capability to our warfighters. But it also might usher in smart gun technology once and for all.

According to reuters.com, the Army specified that its NGSW guns include a “smart rail,” providing a power and communications interface between the rifle and digital technology. While General Dyamics, SIG Sauer and AAI Textron battle for the coveted contract, the Army looks elsewhere for a technology partner.

Army Wants Smart Gun Technology

“You could accomplish some of the functionality by duct-taping an iPhone to your gun. However what we offer is the world’s first truly embedded operating system,” said Melvic Smith, principal owner, Dimensional Weapons Systems, reported reuters.com.

The Army looks to include a fire-control system, linking the weapon to other systems such as targeting technology, reported reuters.com. However, the Army covets even greater capabilities, including chip controlled processes similar to those criticized in the past by 2A advocates. Atlanta-based Dimensional Weapons Systems hopes to provide that technology, according to reuters.com.

“Our team is composed of veterans, law enforcement officers, people that are pro-Second Amendment to begin with,” Smith said. “But we also have engaged with people in the weapons manufacturing industry. They actually love the technology. They’re worried about political backlash.”

The technology could track gun movements, including angles of bore at time of fire. It could maintain a digital record for training and investigations. It could even diagnose problems and recommend weapon maintenance, reuters.com reported. However, smart technology could potentially track weapons or render them useless, in theory, opening the door for continued criticism in the gun control debate. But others see opportunity.

Army contracts could “create a market overnight,” one investor told reuters.com.

“Innovation almost never comes from the people that have been building the same product for 100 years,” said Trevor Neilson, chief executive of i(x) investments, reported reuters.com. “Whoever gets this right is going to build a massive company.”

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