Aiming to Bring Smart Guns to U.S. Market
Tim Oh, 19, is an Anaheim-born and -raised engineering student with a promising idea: It’s a sturdy metal gun safe keyed to the owner’s fingerprint, so it can’t be opened by strangers or children. He also has a $10,000 grant from the San Francisco-based Smart Tech Challenges Foundation.
Jonathan Mossberg’s family has been manufacturing shotguns for generations. For 15 years, he’s been working on a shotgun that won’t fire unless it’s wielded by a shooter wearing a magnetic ring bearing an authentication code. Last year, Mossberg, 50, received a $100,000 grant from the foundation.
These grants represent two parallel trends. One is the revival of interest in electronic and biometric gun-safety technologies, which have languished for years because of disinterest, even hostility, from gun owners and manufacturers. The other is an emerging effort among Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to channel competitive instincts toward solving social problems.