There’s a revolution building in gun design, one with far-reaching implications in military and civilian weaponry, says one of Israel’s top tech investors.
“We believe that in less than 5 years every gun that will be produced will have a smart chip in it,” said Ron Zuckerman, a long-time executive, investor and angel whose list of successes includes co-founding Sapiens International Corp., which develops software for the insurance industry, serving as CEO of Brazilian telecom GVT and as co-founder of influential Israeli venture funds, including Magma. Now a California-based angel, he is an investor in many tech startups.
One of those is a small tech company, Secubit, that is focused on one of the hottest areas in the gun world: tech-enabled weapons. Zuckerman estimates there is a $50 billion market for high-tech guns, including military, law enforcement and civilian. The company's first market is the military, where there is a growing interest in tech-enabled weapons as war becomes more distant and mechanized.
“Even a very conservative market like the weapons industry will eventually have to move to IoT and more data-oriented products like most other industries, and we will be there ready with the best products and solutions,” he said.
With the company’s co-owner, Itay Weiss, serving as CEO, the company is preparing to launch artificial intelligence powered counter for ammunition at this year’s Shot Show conference in January.
The system, WeaponLogic, has been marketed as a way for military clients to count ammunition and determine when guns should be serviced. The new iteration uses AI chips to offer more data and to offer it in real time.
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At a demonstration at the company’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, I saw gun grips containing the chips, a handheld tracker, and a dashboard offering such information as the number of weapons checked out of an armory, dates of service, and, for individual guns, the number of rounds fired, rates of firing and types of ammunition. You can imagine the utility of such information, not only to schedule maintenance for weapons but for commanders to get information on battles in real time, or on their soldiers’ performances.
The Market For High-Tech Guns
Secubit was founded in 2010 by a former Israeli seal, Asaf Bar David. It has 23 employees in Israel and four in the United States; most employees work on research and development. Its first client for its software chip was the Sweden Armed Forces; it now serves clients in 12 countries, including branches of the U.S. military. The product fits more than 90% of the assault rifles on the market and over 70% of the pistols.
One of the reasons weapons have been slow to the adopt technology is that they are complicated. There are more than 100 components in a weapon. Rates of fire are 600–900 rounds per minute for assault rifles, and 900-1,200 rounds per minute for submachine guns and machine guns, said Shahar Cohen, Secubit Israel’s GM
In the United States, civilian gun owners and organizations have long raised concerns about the reliability of so-called smart gun technology. WeaponLogic’s chips aren’t integrated with the firing mechanisms of a gun, the team told me; rather, they are only monitors. Secubit has tested WeaponLogic in extreme environments, 40 degrees below zero, up to 120 degrees. It’s also passed military specifications, according to Cohen, which means among other things that the data on its chips cannot be read by antennas.
Zuckerman and Weiss are the main owners. There is also an ESOP program and another small investor, Zuckerman said.
The team has had a pleasant surprise, Zuckerman said. They’ve prepared for five years of market development, but in the past 12 months have seen interest from major military forces. For signed and many deals on the table, some with the largest military outfits,” Zuckerman said by email. “As we see it, the future battlefield will be more and more based on unmanned machines, most of which will carry one or another shooting device (machines such as drones, robotic soldiers, unmanned vehicles and marine vessels, and the like). Our chip will play a very significant role.”
He said he also sees a large market in the civilian weaponry in the United States, and that the company plans to launch its first product for it in 2020.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.