‘Smart’ Pistol Hits Shelves in California


The first so-called “smart gun” has hit the shelves at U.S. retail outlets, including one of the biggest firearms stores in California, according a news report.

The Smart System iP1, a .22-caliber pistol made by the German gun-maker Armatix GmbH, can only function with an accompanying wristwatch, which is sold separately, according to an article by Michael Rosenwald of The Washington Post.

When the RFID-equipped watch is activated by a PIN number and placed near the gun — like when a shooter grips the handle — it sends a signal to unlock the gun and a light on the back of the weapon turns green, according to the report. Otherwise, the firearm stays locked and the light on the back remains red, it stated.


The pistol sells for $1,399 and the watch retails for another $399 — more than double the cost of .40-caliber Glock handgun, according to the article.

The company is betting that demand for the technology will increase as consumers seek guns modified for safety.

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.

113 Comments on "‘Smart’ Pistol Hits Shelves in California"

  1. "The company is betting that demand for the technology will increase as consumers seek guns modified for safety."

    They would be wrong.

  2. Battery dies….. YOU die!

  3. You wouldn't need a smart gun if you had smart voters!

  4. That or demand will go up once they lobby for california to require such safety deveces.

  5. I wonder what the reasoning is behind selling the pistol and the watch separately.

  6. thank you left wing socialist nanny state..

  7. The only way this succeeds is if the govt. mandates it. I’m sure they received stimulus money. The separate sale of the watch is a dead givaway for liberal involvement

  8. I agree if you forget your watch or the battery dies good bye!!

  9. I wonder why they call it SMART pistol? I don't see anything "smart" about it. If you can't handle a gun safely and practice safety, then that in my definition is a dumb ass person.

  10. defensor fortisimo | February 19, 2014 at 8:12 pm |

    "I don't always carry concealed, but when I do, it's a battery powered .22 that would my wife out to dry if she ever had to use it in a home defense scenario because I never got her a spare wristwatch to go with it"

    He is, the world's most interesting corpse

  11. defensor fortisimo | February 19, 2014 at 8:13 pm |

    also, you really felt the the need to censor wrist watch? Seriously?

  12. Will this device save me from the unconstitutional California law requiring me to keep my pistol locked up at all times?

    Yeah, I seriously doubt it.

  13. Great idea! Lets make certain that law enforcement switches to them right away!

  14. JDs Handsome Son | February 19, 2014 at 9:37 pm |

    It should be law that all security for all elected officials be required to use these smart guns. Our politicians should set an example for the rest of us.

  15. I imagine police departments and federal agencies are lining up around the block to beta test them.


  16. And the RFID jammers will be hitting the streets soon.

  17. Npreuss do you work there?

  18. It comes with the watch, so they can get a good read on your time of death when the EMTs get there. It also displays a message when your heart stops: "Why'd you buy a .22, stupid?"

  19. It’s my experience that those who throw out the ‘don’t like it, then don’t buy it comment’ usually have a vested interest in the products success.

  20. Apparently, glenno is trolling this website to promote this 22 cal super safe pistol that will certainly not be foisted on people in CA NY Nj. That line may work when commenting to the CNN article but not a site with informed gun owners. You clearly gave a vested interest on the piece. And I guarantee you will not buy one.

  21. There are a number of flaws with this design. First, you have a light on your firearm pointing back at your face which is a distraction at best in anything but a bright-light environment and an outright liability at worst. Second, the need for the watch can be negated in one of several ways (strip out the RFID emitter and attach it to the gun, build your own emitter & attach it, strip out the electronics requiring a RFID signature, etc… ). Third, this firearm is inherently overweight. Fourth, safety starts with the person holding the gun and these additional "safety" features will, in practice, result in more careless handling of firearms, not less.

  22. It's a great start. Just like the original musket guns. Would like to see wireless charging kit for the weapon.

  23. I would not want to trust my life to something that runs off a battery. Actually two batteries, watch and pistol. Not to mention a pistol in what is generally recognized as an ineffective caliber and is super expensive. Finally there is the issue of a jammer. There are such things as multi frequency jammers. Given the intellectual level of California politicians, I can see how this idea would originate there.

  24. This is an idea that is so far removed from commonsense that it deserve special noting. Maybe a "Boob Award" is in order. Consumers are much brighter than Armatix seems to think; it's unlikely that anyone planning on using this pistol for practice, or simple enjoyment, would pay $1,399 for a product they cannot use until they purchase something else to use in conjunction with it. Not only is the concept is “not there” but as an added bonus you end up with a system that has two single points of failure. Even early adopters are likely to walk away from the Smart System iP1. An interesting collector's piece – certainly, but not a mass market product.
    Go back to the drawing board…

  25. ‘Glenno
    Feb 20 – 7:55 am
    Sorry Matt, but I don’t follow your logic. Care to elaborate?’

    Well Glenn, it’s pretty clear. Every time I’ve seen someone like yourself responding to many of the posts in a passive aggressive and defensive way (ie- calling posters stupid and ‘don’t like it don’t buy it), it has turned out to be a person who worked for or benefited from the company/product in question.

    Why not just state that you like the concept and move on, instead of attacking other folks opinions.

  26. Glenn I’m a urologist… Does that help you? It’s interesting to see how defensive you get. Time to move on though

  27. It needs flip-out prongs so you can plug it into any outlet for recharging.

  28. Too easy to hack into this, I won't even need the watch. Too easy to disable as well with a nice EMP blast.

  29. This is a good of example of "just because something CAN be done, doesn't mean it SHOULD".

  30. I think this might be an option in a scenario like arming school faculty as protection from active shooters. But that's because that is a limited situation. First, the odds are pretty good you won't need to use it. And second, if you're just a little smart about it you simply require the designated faculty to wear the watch and check batteries at the beginning of the day. You only need it to last for 8-10 hours. If you don't have a charge, you lose one armed staff member, but there are others. Once school is out for the day, you can go get a replacement battery because you're not relying on it outside that environment. This would also help counter the "but what if a student finds the gun" argument because the student would need both items.

    However, it's not something I'd use for personal use where I'm on my own, without backup, and looking for 24/7 protection from threats that don't adheare to a timeline. The lower level of predictability means I need something with as few possible points of failure as possible.

  31. Now just in my observation I can see major issues already. You've got the distracting green light which can be an issue when aiming and not to mention giving away your position when you are trying to take cover from an armed criminal, since it takes batteries that alone brings an array of issues, the chances of the gun failing not just mechanically but now electronically, the fact you need an additional item (watch) for it to work, the weight, the ridiculous price tag, the political gun control measure it has sparked, etc. Idk, I'm not sold on it.

  32. I have 3 things to say about this, Dumb, Dumb and Dumber. My index finger controls my gun.

  33. Aberrant Aisherri | February 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm |

    What if someone steals your watch? The watch should be activated by your DNA

  34. A shooter holds a gun in their dominant hand, wears a wrist watch on the other arm… This wrist watch will identify you as having a gun so much for the surprise advantage of conceal & carry!

  35. i think i will stick to my glock. i know that every time i pull that trigger its going to go bang. plus, i dont wear watches. especially $400 ones. take your (explicative) system back to germany.

  36. Liberal bullshit | February 20, 2014 at 4:40 pm |

    Someone comes busting into your house will you have enough time to put on the watch and enter a code before they shoot you and or your family…I'm guessing not

  37. and when an EMP is created by the enemy to knock out electronic devices, the 22. is useless

  38. So, at what point in my draw do I punch the secret code into my watch? I think I’d rather stick with a dumb gun that costs a little over 1/5 of what this costs and doesn’t require typing a pin into my watch to be able to use it.

  39. i don't believe that this will ever take off, it's a good concept but until we have the technology to make it more then just a lock very few people are going to want to buy that

  40. You will never find a weapon in my hands that relies on a battery operated watch and batteries in the gun to use it !!! ! Especially at the same time!!

  41. im sure, or at least I hope you are smart enough to realize why those 4 letters were censored. Nessuno .. TWAT.

  42. Brian bellefeuille | February 20, 2014 at 5:23 pm |

    Really cool. The only thing is the watch. The watch needs to look cool and have the many functions that gun owners, military, or techies would want. Maybe you can push to partner up with G-shock or another watch manufacturer that makes watches for military and law enforcement !

  43. The other nice thing about it is!!!! If the government wants to make sure you can't use it they could easily do so!!!!! Yay!!!!


  45. While most of the folks commenting have valid points- I see it as just another gadget that I'd like to try out!

  46. AS no one here seems to be an expert on RFID chips, I can tell you this as a Computer Science major going into the networking field: RFID chips are very good in controlled environments, but they are subject to the same issues that all wireless devices are subjected to. They are of three types, Passive, magnetic, or via high frequency radiation, due to the low operating range, we can pinpoint that this gun uses passive radio waves to detect the watch. Issues with this type can be if metal or liquids can interfere with signals or you can have re-radiation double checks that cause failure for the device to work properly or you can have reflection of the signal that degrades it's strength.

    Another issue to cause wonder is if the RFID reception on the gun is in the front or back… the front giving less room for error when you shoot, and more room for error if that gun is pointed AT you.

    A third issue would be for a gun that's highly technical, they had the over site to screw up the coding on the website and have visible coding in Metadata for the gun's page… You should be able to see [span class = "lowercase"> i [/span>.

    Telling stuff.

  47. I hope the wrist band is indestructible!!

  48. and all someone has to do is steal the rfid information and take your gun from you and shoot you with it. not an fool proof system. how do they think some one will pay 1k for a 22 pistol and another 400 for a stupid watch im sure they wont want. id rather buy a buchmark or ruger or both and use the extra money on ammo lots of ammo.

  49. Can we say useless? Hey mister criminal please wait to try and rob/kill me will I put on my watch, type in the pin# and pick up my gun, tks in advance.

  50. Seems like a lame ass attempt from the gov to try and track who owns guns via RFID.

  51. Hows this for an edge? Exchange the green led for a red one so everyone thinks it cannot be fired. Surprise your friends, enemies and the police.

  52. Glenno I guess you decided to stay after all? Thank goodness you’ll stay to educate us.

    “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”

    Thank you for removing all doubt buddy

  53. Control-alt-delete to re-start it if it doesn't shoot when you really need it?

  54. So what happens when the battery dies In the middle of a fire fight?

  55. What happens when the batteries in the gun dies? Rolling eyes. ask yourself when was the last time you changed the batteries in your remote. Ridiculous. Cali doesn’t want a Constitutionally protected right, but will let Cheech and Chong smoke a fattie because their spleen hurts.

  56. And who pray tell can disarm the watch…you guessed it!

  57. who the hell is going to use a .22 for self defense?

  58. And just what assurances are there that the govt can’t lock it down when the decide that they want to ban guns? Hell no this is the stupid! “The company is betting that demand for the technology will increase as consumers seek guns modified for safety.” love how they make it seem like people are just going to love this idea and throw their money at this. Safety starts at home

  59. Richard Fitzwell | February 20, 2014 at 10:41 pm |

    Umm…not to nitpick, but I can buy a Glock for $500 (and that's not counting the Blue label deals). The watch plus gun equals $1,798. My beer math tells me that I can buy 3 Glocks plus a few mags and some ammo for that…

    Also, I can't trust the Germans on this, they are still trying to find ways to seek forgiveness for 60 yr old sins…

  60. Let's get the tech from "Shootem up" finger print activated grip anyone?

  61. That’s a DUMB gun, rather.

  62. Bad Idea for self-defense, but great idea for shooting competitions. That way everyone could prove they shot with their own gun and didn't have anyone shoot for them. Maybe the watch could log the discharge? Thoughts anyone?

  63. It's a start…. Maybe we can get background checks going also, that would be a better one.

  64. Unreconstructed | February 21, 2014 at 12:41 am |

    What a remarkably STUPID idea. You couldn't GIVE me one of them!

  65. Is it out of the question to think these have a realistic purpose outside of the "home invasion" scenario? I would imagine these could be used in a range for training purposes for those new to firearms to teach safety and avoid any accidental firearm related incidents.

  66. guns are going to kill people with or with out a smart system… doesnt even matter.

  67. What they should do is put a finger print scanner for the pistol as an attachment and its rechargeable.Only the scanner unlocks the chamber for firing.

  68. So, they sell the watch separately, which means if you just buy the gun you are just buying a paperweight. Why not sell the two together as a package since the gun is supposedly useless without the watch?

  69. Norman Johansen | February 21, 2014 at 8:16 am |

    You don't go to bed at night wearing you watch. So, what happens if you need the weapon, in the middle of the night?

  70. Thats great… Tell me again how many cops’ lives have been saved by a random civilian who picked up the downed officers gun and ended the struggle. This is the dumbest fucking idea I’ve ever heard of.

  71. Thats great… Tell me again how many cops’ lives have been saved by a random civilian who picked up the downed officers gun and ended the struggle. This is the dumbest f***ing idea I’ve ever heard of.

  72. Hmmm wonder if there is a plug in charger, to charge it by my bedside next to my smart phone :)

  73. I wonder if this one will be smart enough NOT to shoot anyone and cause Legitimate Owners to suffer the unintended consequences

  74. 21st Century Soldier | February 21, 2014 at 10:13 am |

    To SFC Franklin anyone who has ever used an AN/TVS-5 knows its not an NVG but a worthless device that cant be used while actually firing the M2. And yes we do use a DAGR the PLGR as u mentioned is an outdated antique which both operate on batteries,but any good Infantrymen will also have a map compass and protractor for backup because the tech you love is prone to failure and dead batteries. You mentioned the BC-611 what era are you from? That hasn't been used in the ARMY since late 70's maybe into the 80's. Yes we do have technology in the military that require batteries but there is a backup for it all your CCO stops working you have backup iron sights your DAGR dies you go old school and use a map.

  75. OK, lets get it over with and just embed the chip in my hand? RFID chips dont need power!!! they are powered by the receiver emitting a charge, thats why they are in everything now and stores use them to track stuff. the little white alarms to the sides of the doors as you leave the store alarm if the chip is configured. thats why they swipe certain stuff on the counter. magnet removes configuration fromthe RFID so it doesnt alarm….
    Soooo, the gun needs the battery and should be able to let you know if it is dead. real technology says put the gun on the inductive charger at night and you wont have the issue. and also an override switch, though this gun is using an electric solenoid to release the sear so you NEED a battery and not just for the watch thing.

  76. I stopped wearing a watch in 1999…..no watch, no shot! Don't think I would ever buy a gun with a computer chip in it, we see how reliable automobiles can be when computers go bad or have no power. They don't work.

  77. There will be no demand for it by me.

  78. They’re going to lose that bet. Savvy gun consumers want reliability derived from simplicity, not a false illusion of safety from complexity. I predict maybe 18 will sell, if that many.

  79. Too many things go wrong. You loss the watch fighting before you get your pistol. The watch is broken fighting. The battery goes dead in the watch or pistol. To many added ways to die, and the price is ridiculous.

  80. Wow. Y’all are terrified of change huh? It’s the “first” (quoting the article) of its kind to hit the shelves. So it’ll get out there to the public, consumer reviews for those who have USED it and then they can retweek it (light placement, caliber).And it carries with it a hell of a price tag. So? A Maserati goes for $130,000. Will I ever own one? Doubtful. But that doesn’t mean they don’t sell. Did you know Ducati makes a writing pen that’s $216.00? For what? I don’t know. But people buy it. And this whole deal about fear of batteries- maintain your gear. That simple. If you want to have trust in your stuff, make sure you’re doing your part by maintain gams inspecting the weapon. These batteries last for YEARS. I mean, I haven’t changed my watch battery in the 7 years I’ve been wearing it and it’s just a regular NiCad. And until mass targeted EMP blasts in my neighborhood become a problem and I have to reset my clocks every day, I’m not really gonna worry about that. It’s new(ish) technology that has room to grow, with a price tag that’s not for everyone, in a system that isn’t forcing anyone to use it.


  82. Anything "smart" will be hackable. Hack the gun… hack the watch… next thing you know, you're going to jail for a murder you didn't commit. No thanks.

  83. I'm sorry, I understand that we are in a technologically advancing age but it is irrational to combine the advancement of electronic securities to a firearm. Explain the root cause for creating such a design, that a firearm would need an RFID transmitting watch to be operational. Plus at a .22 caliber (most generally used for sighting, target practice, or introductory training to firearm safety) what's the viability? Half way to the range you need to turn around because you "forgot" your watch, or the Movado just looked better with your range outfit; come on people what are these companies spending R&D money on. If at all, anything to test would be palm or fingerprint scanning technology to secure a firearm and to even create data logs on a microSD card for who and when it was fired; but seriously a watch…SMH! :-/

  84. Who needs gun control legislation… Obama will just have the NSA turn all the guns off.

  85. Leo Gerald Johnson | February 21, 2014 at 2:38 pm |

    If The person who buy's a "Smart Gun "doesn't have the Responsible attitude" that it takes to be a gun owner then all the technology that is in that gun is gone for nothing.A person who ownes a gun has to have the "Responsibility " that goes with gun "Ownership"

  86. Not to sound like I support this but just to put it out there, the idea itself is intriguing though not yet suitable for wide spread use. Two major things wrong with this is (1) Price, the fact that the price for such gun is way overpriced will indeed suppress the number of sales as there is, as far I know, Beretta makes a .22 handgun for about $200 to name one. (2) Caliber size, a .22 is not much in the way self defense but I am sure larger calibers will be made available in the future IF the product becomes viable.
    Again I don't directly support this idea but I will admit that it has its uses and some of the more safety oriented people would probably purchase this and the anti-gun politicians would flock to this as a way to skirt gun owners rights to get their position of power by making the tech necessary for all new gun purchases just as the suggested in the past by attempting to implement the gum stamping, anyone remember this?
    This tech can be defeated easily but for now as I see it I agree with the gentleman who made mention of the similar tech that used the ring it will be a short lived deal until certain manufactures make another break thru in this tech. I would also point out the other gentleman who pointed good gun ownership and family oriented training basic self responsibility. That said and I daresay it would be to easy turn back the clock a number years to promote common sense and self responsibility. I quote "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" – Benjamin Franklin. I refer to the tech portion of the gun, RFID gives the government and any law enforcement to block your ability to fire that weapon ant any time….

  87. Until the gun gets into a hackers hands, that they can modify the contents to allow firing at anyone. Because If I'm seeing this correctly, if the government is able to control these "Smart" guns, if the gun is pointed at a government official, it will not shoot. From what I'm theorising is that the government would wear Counter RFID Chips that would shut the gun off, or merely not be able to target them.

  88. Since I shoot with my right hand and wear my watch on my left – DEAD WOMAN!

  89. Last time i checked i can buy a glock 22 40 cal gen 4 for $500 so thats technically over 3 times the cost.

  90. Yordanis RUIZ RODRIGUEZ | February 21, 2014 at 9:24 pm |

    Thay should mare like that it will be mach more safe, more life will safe if it’s gets I’m the wrong hands.

  91. Isn't it ironic that every gun safety shows RED when the firearm is ready to use and this displays a green light, and the red light is displayed when it's in a safe mode?

  92. I wouldn't consider a .22 suitable self defense. Maybe they are just testing the market.

  93. The name says all there is to say. God forbid there is an invasion of this country and we need to defend out rights, our homes and our lives. Hope the watch and weapon is sheilded. Good luck.

  94. If the battery is shot, death.

  95. So…what if you're in the shower or sleeping at night and you need to access your firearm rather quickly? It seems more of a safety hinderance than an enhancement. One more thing you have to worry about. I hope it fails miserably.

  96. And when it fails to shoot when needed because of a stupid PIN or opposite hand shooting…. Hold on evildoer, I have to put in my PIN. Plus batteries? Great, low tech has worked thus far, I'd be an idiot to use this piece of crap. Back to the drawing board genius

  97. defensor fortisimo | February 23, 2014 at 7:02 pm |

    The free market argument makes sense until you take into account the fact that in New Jersey and California, their is already legislation mandating a transition to "smart weapons". http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/02/20/
    Bottom line, the notion of this weapon stems from the fallacies of the gun control movement, right down to the statement that we need to "think about the children". Technology is no substitution for personal responsibility.

  98. All the gov't has to do is place a duke or warlock in a police vehicle and turn it on. Then your gun won't work at all. Youre dead.

  99. I'd buy the watch!!

  100. And, where do you buy .22LR ammunition?

  101. why get the gun for that much when you can get a gun that has even more power right at dicks as long as you have a permit to own a handgun!!!

  102. If only the watch didn't look like a brick

  103. (Laughing my ass off) Really?! $2000+/- after Taxes for a fancy .22? Incredible… I'd rather drop that on a AR…But you will have the occasional white collar buying this pistol because his Silver spoon fed children don't understand what "NO or DON'T TOUCH" mean…

  104. They are really banking on the government adopting the technology to solve gun violence but,,,they won't cause those stupid looking guns still shoot.

  105. Chris Murphey | February 27, 2014 at 2:44 am |

    Ha! If they want to make us feel "safe" MAKE IT IN SOMETHING OTHER THAN .22! Honestly people….

  106. Chris Murphey | February 27, 2014 at 2:46 am |

    and also will this set off a metal detector? From the outside it looks like a futuristic water pistol.

  107. Don't we need "smart" public servants more than we need "smart" guns?
    What's next, "smart" hammers, knives, baseball bats, golf clubs, and vagina razors?

  108. Who in the world would even want a 'smart' DUMB gun? What is the point? A burglar bashes down your door and you have to find your wrist watch, activate the code, which in turn activates the gun — oops, sorry, you were already shot by the burglar — numerous times — because you forgot your code!

    I can't imagine what type of person would even pay this much for a weapon, that is insanely ridiculous as a weapon for self defense!

  109. This is a great idea…Those of you that think "if the battery dies, you die", are wide of the mark..Pun intended..How often do you replace your watch battery? And if you consider yourself a proclaimed "responsible gun owner", can you not be bothered by replacing a battery every couple years?…If you clean your gun every time you shoot cans, check the battery. Takes 2 seconds. I live in NH, and have grown up with guns. If I could have the piece of mind, that my weapons could never be stolen and used in an act of violence, why wouldn't I be an proponent of that? Or worst case, no matter how 'responsible' I am, if there was one moment where a child could handle the gun, why wouldn't you want this technology? I feel like most of the gun owners comments on these websites are ignorant, and not the true majority of 'real' gun owners. For those that strongly feel, that The one day, they may be caught the situation, where someone might break into your house, and you are forced into using your weapon; AND you forgot to replace a battery in your gun/watch, that's your fault. It would be the same thing if your gun jammed because you failed to clean it. Support technology that reduces people who shouldn't be shooting guns, shooting guns.

  110. tdkflorida | May 5, 2014 at 11:43 pm |

    I love this gun. No one can stop the progress of technology. Not even the gun lobby! It stops kids from killing themselves and each other. Who could be against that? Apparently the backward thinking people on this site. So much for the gun rights advocates.

  111. and on top of all of this, it looks like a toy… But the kids don't have a watch so I guess it won't matter if it gets pointed at the TV like a wii remote.

  112. I wonder how many parent of dead kids wish they would have had one of these.

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