Controversial Tech: Sniper Rifle That Fires Itself. Can Be Controlled From Anywhere Using A Smart Phone
As the ethical approach to responsible gun control rages in this country, this new piece of technology is definitely not helping matters any. The new TrackingPoint sniper rifle from XactSystems doesn’t just fire when you pull the trigger. Rather, it fires itself when all the conditions are right, and it knows it will hit the target you’re aiming at. TrackingPoint can also be controlled, and activated, using a smartphone from anywhere. Strangely, another sadistic built-in feature allows you to stream videos of your shooting experience to Facebook, & YouTube, with the iPad mini that comes included. Xact systems tagline says, “Now everyone can be an expert marksman.” “With TrackingPoint, even a novice shooter can become an elite long-range marksman in minutes, accurately and effectively engaging targets out to 1,200 yards,” the company said in a press release. That’s good, if you’re a hunter and you want to “ethically harvest” game by making immediate kills shots. But it’s also incredibly dangerous, since now inexperienced shooters can be as accurate — or more accurate — as trained military snipers from almost a mile away. The potential for terrorism and targeted assassinations is obvious.
The shooter simply tells the rifle what he or she is aiming at by locking a laser on the target. The gun’s built-in laser range finder, compass, environmental sensors to gauge wind speeds, inertial measurement unit, ballistics computer, and networked tracking engine then engage. But the rifle only fires when you’re holding it in exactly the right direction to hit the target, ensuring that even the unsteadiest and untrained hands can deploy death from a distance. And every shot is recorded and streamed to your nearby iPad.
“Think of it like a smart rifle. You have a smart car; you got a smartphone; well, now we have a smart rifle,” company President Jason Schauble told NPR.
Hunters are excited by the possibilities, apparently.
XS1 is the largest-caliber Precision Guided Firearm (PGF) available today.
“When I first saw this system, I knew immediately that I had to have one,” said the first owner of a TrackingPoint rifle. “As a sport hunter and professional marksman, I see the TrackingPoint technology as an excellent way to ensure more ethical harvesting of game and to share the thrill of the hunt with anyone. I cannot wait to make amazing shots of my own.”
Xact Syxtems, which is based in Austin, TX. calls it a “Precision-Guided Firearm (PGF),” carefully avoiding any reference to “snipers” or “sniper rifles.” But the size and weight of this deadly weapon — 27″ long, over 20 pounds loaded — make it a very unusual hunting rifle. We’re no firearms experts, but several sites that we’ve checked indicate that average hunting rifles weigh in at 6-12 pounds, and that a rifle of 20 pounds or more is “just too heavy for general purposes.”
TrackingPoint has made some efforts around safety. The sophisticated tracking scope that makes the rifle “smart” is password-protected, according to the company’s CEO, so while the gun will still fire without an authorized user, it won’t allow access to all the intelligence that could make a weekend warrior into an instant Marine sniper.
The company made its first deliveries this week, and due to “overwhelming demand,” has set up a web-based application process to get on the waiting list. We can only hope that the application process doesn’t allow any deranged individuals to access this type of deadly weapons.
And, no matter how smart these rifles are, the question is: are they wise?
What are your thoughts about this, Please leave your FB comments below.