New Jersey engineers are closing in on developing a “smart” gun that can be fired only by its owner, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The prototype, developed at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, has pressure sensors embedded in the gun handle that recognize a person’s unique grip. A commercial model is up to five years away, but if it works, within three years, all handguns sold in New Jersey would have to be personalized, with this or some other recognition technology.
Michael Recce, who dreamed up the grip-recognition concept in 1999, said the only obstacles are time and money. Duke University economist Philip J. Cook estimates that if all handguns were personalized, more than 4,000 lives would be saved each year from fewer murders, accidents and teen suicides. A year and a half ago, a prototype recognized authorized users nine out of 10 times. Now, the rate is between 95 and 99 percent.