Smart Gun Uses Facial Recognition Technology

Moviegoers may recall the special firearm that was issued to James Bond in the 2012 file Skyfall probably thought that this weapon was pure science fiction. However, a ‘Smart Gun’ has been developed  by US arms company, Biofire Technologies, that can only be fired after verifying the shooter’s identity with facial recognition and fingerprint technology.

The 9mm Biofire Smart Gun locks the moment it leaves your hand and cannot be fired unless an authorised user picks it back up. 

Firearm-related accidents, homicides, and suicides are the main cause of death for children and teenagers and more than 40 per cent of US children surveyed said they could get their hands on their parents’ guns within two hours. To combat this risk, Biofire says that a secure and portable smart dock provides a simple interface for the gun owner to add or remove trusted users via a touchscreen.

The first consumer-ready versions of the 9mm handgun costing $1,499 could be available to customers by 2024. Biofire claims this technology can help to reduce “accidents, criminal misuse, suicides, and other tragic outcomes,” as it uses facial recognition technology that scans the user’s face before the gun can be fired, with aim to only allow authorised users to operate. “Biofire’s proprietary Guardian Biometric Engine uses integrated fingerprint and 3D facial recognition systems to verify your identity in any situation. Instantly unlock your firearm just by picking it up, no codes, buttons, or gadgets required.” 

The weapon is claimed to work, even if the user is wearing gloves or a face covering.

Smart guns have been a topic of heated debate in the United States for many years, with supporters arguing that the technology can improve gun safety and reduce gun violence, while opponents believe that the government may use it to create a database of gun owners. The US National Rifle Association (NRA) has opposed government proposals that would require consumers to exclusively buy smart guns and this is one reason the NRA object to any legislation that would make all traditional guns illegal once smart gun technology is available.

Firearm-related accidents, suicides, and homicides are the leading cause of death for children in the US. Almost half of American children surveyed said they could access weapons that their parents believe were secured within a couple of hours, according to one study referenced by Biofire. 

While the aim is to reduce firearms deaths, adding more guns to the hundreds of millions already in US circulation has risks, especially if people who wouldn’t otherwise buy a standard gun decide to buy a smart gun. 

The Biofire smart gun is not the first of its kind, but it is one of the few to have gone on sale in the United States. While the technology has the potential to improve gun safety, it remains to be seen whether it will gain widespread adoption among gun owners, given the controversy surrounding the issue. 

Reuters:    Smart Gun:    I-HLS:     Dig.Watch:   KTVU:   SlashDot:   Standard:    NPR:    

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