::: nBlog :::
After visiting Mexico alongside top Finnish defence companies, I started to resurrect an old idea about smart and connected.. guns. Although technology has evolved decently what comes to ammunition (there are now even .50 cal guided bullets), the lone rifle, be it designed for hunting or for the military, is quite similar to its ancestor some hundred years ago.
Guns are dangerous (when used by untrained and/or unauthorized people) and expensive. Therefore making them safer, more reliable and smarter by using spimes is very plausible.
Some manufacturers already test guns which require owner’s finger- or palmprint to operate. However, I have not seen a gun with even a rudimentary digital twin yet. One of the issues is that adding any computing or logic to the gun requires power, which easily means a battery. This in turn adds quite some cost to lifecycle management, as even lithium batteries have to be replaced after some 5 years. This might be practical for a recreational hunter like me, but for a combat unit with thousands of guns this would mean signifcant headache.
Connecting things or guns to create digital twins and spimes can, however, be done with minimum or no local power requirements. One way is RFID, which could easily be embedded to e.g. locks and cartridges. Collecting usage data only when guns are stored, using e.g. active RFID beam at the garrison, would already create a basis for the gun manufacturer to provide preventive maintenance and adaptive service operations on demand.
When the power issue can be solved with e.g. tiny compressed gas generator using supercapacitors, adding more power hungry functions like real-time connectivity, GPS, sight camera and user recognition becomes lot easier.
On the administrative side, the ability to remotely track and lock stolen or otherwise illegally used guns would save lives, while hunters, soldiers and police officers would have their tools better maintained.
Let’s see who is the first manufacturer who takes the digital step.