The Armatix iP1 is a handgun that is only capable of firing when in range of the included waterproof wristwatch. Utilizing a RFID chip with a proximity of about ten inches, a light just above the grip will turn green when the gun is ready to fire. When the watch is more than ten inches away from the pistol, the light on the handgun will turn red and nothing will happen when the trigger is pulled.
One of California’s largest firearm stores recently added a peculiar new gun to its shelves. It requires an accessory: a black waterproof watch. The watch’s primary purpose is not to provide accurate time, though it does. The watch makes the gun think. Electronic chips inside the gun and the watch communicate with each other. If the watch is within close reach of the gun, a light on the grip turns green. Fire away. No watch means no green light. The gun becomes a paperweight. A dream of gun-control advocates for decades, the Armatix iP1 is the country’s first smart gun. Its introduction is seen as a landmark in efforts to reduce gun violence, suicides and accidental shootings. Proponents compare smart guns to automobile air bags — a transformative add-on that gun owners will demand. But gun rights advocates are already balking, wondering what happens if the technology fails just as an intruder breaks in.