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A Biometric Smart Gun

smart gun with dynamic grip recognitionBy David Ponce

You know what sucks? Getting shot in the leg (or anyplace else) by a seven year old who figured out how to pick the lock on your gun. I wouldn’t know firsthand, I’m just saying… seven-year-old lock-picking kids are rampant these days. And apparently the US federal government agrees with me. They’ve so far granted $2 million to the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) for the development of the first “Smart Gun” with Dynamic Grip Recognition technology: a gun with a biometric locking mechanism that will only work with one owner.

The technology consists of a handle outfitted with 32 pressure sensors that record your unique holding pattern.

Sensors and microprocessors analyze the complex interplay of bones and muscles involved in pulling the trigger, all in a fraction of a second. “The way you hold a gun, curl your fingers, contract your hand muscles as you pull the trigger—all of those measurements are unique,” says Donald Sebastian, vice president for research and development at NJIT.

At the moment, the prototype achieves a 1 in 100 accuracy, though the Institute plans on pushing that up to 1 in 10,000 before the planned release sometime in 2008.