The Armatix iP1 handgun comes with a waterproof wristwatch, which only allows the weapon to be fired when within a range of around ten inches. Inside the wristwatch is a RFID chip, which detects whether the watch is in the correct proximity to the gun. A green light indicates that the gun is within the ten inch range, however if not, then the light turns red and prevents the gun from being fired.
As well as controlling whether the gun can be used, the watch also displays the time, charge level, contains a function for a timed weapon deactivation and a PIN system for managing the handgun.
There are pros and cons when it comes to smart weapons. There is concern that if you forget to swap the battery in the RFID accessory, then the device is rendered useless at a time when it could be needed. Any incident where the RFID is lost, jammed or hacked are also potential downfalls.However on a positive note, the gun would be useless if stolen or handled by someone not allowed to use the weapon.
Armatix is not the only company developing this technology into its weapons. TriggerSmart has produced a detachable part on the handgun grip that also contains a RFID chip, meaning it can only be fired when the chip is locked in place.
This smart technology does come at a price. The average mid-range .22 handgun can cost between $300 and $600 but the Armatix iP1 costs $1,399, with the RFID wristwatch costing an extra $399.