Meet The $22,000, Self-Aiming, Wifi-Enabled Rifle

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Meet The $22,000, Self-Aiming, Wifi-Enabled Rifle

Aiming is for chumps. If only someone would invent a rifle that takes all the hassle out of shooting somebody.

Since mankind first perfected the rifle, it's been the go-to killing tool for hunters, soldiers and psychotic hillbillies alike. The reason? It's a nearly idiot proof mechanism. If you want something dead you simply point and click (much like a computer's mouse, only with more residual blood splatter). Despite this (or perhaps as a testament to man's enduring laziness), Austin, Texas-based tech firm TrackingPoint has opted to build a rifle that does all that pesky aiming for you, while also offering a number of thoughtful modern accoutrements.

Officially dubbed the "Precision Guided Firearm" - a name you might recognize from this earlier article on the weapons system - TrackingPoint's new $22,000 rifle utilizes a guidance system not unlike that seen in fighter jets. Using a laser range finder, a high-definition camera system and an onboard computer, the PGF automatically collects data and alters its shot based on all kinds of environmental factors (wind speed, target distance, humidity). All the user needs do is select a target, then press a button near the gun's trigger.

This is where things take a turn for the futuristic. Once that button is pressed, the PGF begins actively tracking whichever target you've decided needs to catch a bullet. As the target moves, the gun adjusts its calculations, and provides the shooter with cues on where they should shift their aim. Once you want to dispatch the target, you simply pull the trigger to fire. Even this aspect proves technologically impressive though, as the PGF increases the pressure necessary to pull its trigger until the barrel is perfectly aligned with whatever ideal position the gun's computer has determined, making it difficult to even intentionally miss.

Oh, but the PGF's list of features doesn't end there! This being the modern era, everything is Wifi-enabled, and this gun is no exception. Assuming you have a smartphone or computer - if you're dropping over 20 grand on a rifle, you can probably afford a netbook - you can task the PGF to send high-definition images of whatever it spies with its onboard targeting camera directly to your gadget of choice.

Of course, the crucial question here is how effective the rifle is at actually hitting distant targets, and in that regard, it's proven impressively, dangerously well-designed. According to TrackingPoint, the PGF has been able to hit targets at ranges at far as 900 meters when operated by novice shooters.

This is where things get controversial. Having seen the PGF in action, some experts worry that it removes all the skill from sniping, and could be too dangerous a weapon for civilians to reasonably own.

"This new smart rifle puts too much power into the civilian world," says British smart weaponry analyst Noel Sharkey. "Being a sniper is a very specialised role and requires a great deal of training - but now anyone can be an accurate assassin and at long ranges, too."

Dr. Matthew Lang of Ohio's Xavier University agrees with Sharkey, but was kind enough to address the gigantic, politically dangerous elephant in the room: The PGF makes it exceedingly easy for any individual to become the next Lee Harvey Oswald, without spending years in the Marine Corps. "If it starts to find its way to individuals that plan to use it for other purposes, there will be a lot of time and money spent figuring out how to secure any public area if the number of possible snipers has significantly increased," Lang states.

It's very easy to see the myriad ways in which the Precision Guided Firearm could prove potentially dangerous, but it's likely unrealistic of us to shun the concept entirely. Have you seen our science fiction? Weapons like this (and even fully autonomous designs) are going to happen at some point, whether we like it or not. There's just too much money and too much concern for soldiers' lives on the part of military R&D for this technological path to go unexplored.

Whether that inevitability is exciting or terrifying comes down to personal preference, but personally I can't wait for the day when instead of changing the channel on my TV (like a sucker!) I can instead just punch a code into my phone to command my ceiling-mounted turret to fire off incendiary shells into the side of the set until old Sifl & Olly reruns start playing on loop.

If all of this talk of futuristic murder systems has you excited, watch the clip embedded at top. It's an official highlight reel courtesy TrackingPoint that's a bit overtly "sci-fi," but does a solid enough job of demonstrating how the PGF functions in the field.

Source: New Scientist

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So in 2013 we created a gun that aims for you, and yet the Kaminoans managed to produce an army incapable of a: coming up with this, and 2: aiming.

Also: There is a Brit called Noel Sharkey? Man this country is awesome.

According to the NRA this is what will make our schools safe again!

According to the gun control lobby we'll need to ban cameras and computers or else we support child killers.

I wonder how inertia is handled for fast moving shots.

kajinking:
According to the NRA this is what will make our schools safe again!

Too bad america's internet infrastructure sucks :(

...and then someone will hack them. And make them shoot you in your own toe.

kajinking:
According to the NRA this is what will make our schools safe again!

Well it would, but the laws that arm teachers arm criminals. lol. Got to love the NRA, they are mental. Pity americans dont think that as well.

oh too late, was going to say "in before butthurt gun control people". Cool gun, seems like something the army would use, as much as they shoot at shit from fast moving helicopters.

And then Aim hack for real life was invented.

I feel bad for spotters, looks like they'll be out of a job.

I also feel bad for those pigs they were shooting in that video, they didn't even stand a chance.

This is the sort of thing that really shouldn't be available to the public. If you need something like this for hunting then you suck and shouldn't be hunting anyway.

Worgen:
This is the sort of thing that really shouldn't be available to the public. If you need something like this for hunting then you suck and shouldn't be hunting anyway.

What about novice hunters?

OT: a self aiming gun . That can hit targets up to 900 meters . That is amazingly dangerous . So where do i get one ?

krazykidd:

Worgen:
This is the sort of thing that really shouldn't be available to the public. If you need something like this for hunting then you suck and shouldn't be hunting anyway.

What about novice hunters?

OT: a self aiming gun . That can hit targets up to 900 meters . That is amazingly dangerous . So where do i get one ?

It's too easy to hunt as it is with modern firearms. Something like this completely takes away any skill, if you want to hunt you should have to have some kinda skill, I dislike the concept of killing something so effortlessly.

Me55enger:
So in 2013 we created a gun that aims for you, and yet the Kaminoans managed to produce an army incapable of a: coming up with this, and 2: aiming.

Also: There is a Brit called Noel Sharkey? Man this country is awesome.

You fool, clearly you don't understand the Republic-Kaminoan complex. If they're too accurate, they're less likely to get shot and killed (reducing the need to buy more), and the war would end too soon (eliminating the need all together). ;)

Worgen:

krazykidd:

Worgen:
This is the sort of thing that really shouldn't be available to the public. If you need something like this for hunting then you suck and shouldn't be hunting anyway.

What about novice hunters?

OT: a self aiming gun . That can hit targets up to 900 meters . That is amazingly dangerous . So where do i get one ?

It's too easy to hunt as it is with modern firearms. Something like this completely takes away any skill, if you want to hunt you should have to have some kinda skill, I dislike the concept of killing something so effortlessly.

I will admit , seeing someone hunt with a crossbow is pretty damn impressive . But apparently if you use a crossbow and don't have perfect aim , animals suffer more .

Hey I have a great idea, lets mount one of these guns on an ASIMO. While doing so, it's important to loudly ask, 'What could possibly go wrong?'.

Hooray! Now even the most untrained of sociopaths can shoot children in schools from the comfort of a McDonald's a couple blocks away. And with a proper set-up, blind people can finally experience the joy of killing an innocent deer with a rifle that costs more than enough to feed a small family for years.

I see no downside to this weapon being put in the hands of functionally retarded, hate-filled, fear-mongering civilians.

Just as well America has proper gun control la--- BWAHAHAHA! Yeah, this won't go wrong at all... but it was inevitable. Don't we already have guns on a gimble that can be operated remotely? This isn't going beyond that.

teamcharlie:
Hooray! Now even the most untrained of sociopaths can shoot children in schools from the comfort of a McDonald's a couple blocks away. And with a proper set-up, blind people can finally experience the joy of killing an innocent deer with a rifle that costs more than enough to feed a small family for years.

I see no downside to this weapon being put in the hands of functionally retarded, hate-filled, fear-mongering civilians.

Fun Fact:
This gun will not prove to be any more useful in those scenarios than any other gun on the market. Go learn something about firearms (including this one) and you'll see why your statement is asinine.

SonOfVoorhees:
Well it would, but the laws that arm teachers arm criminals. lol. Got to love the NRA, they are mental. Pity americans dont think that as well.

Wait, criminals follow laws? Since when?

MichiganMuscle77:

teamcharlie:
Hooray! Now even the most untrained of sociopaths can shoot children in schools from the comfort of a McDonald's a couple blocks away. And with a proper set-up, blind people can finally experience the joy of killing an innocent deer with a rifle that costs more than enough to feed a small family for years.

I see no downside to this weapon being put in the hands of functionally retarded, hate-filled, fear-mongering civilians.

Fun Fact:
This gun will not prove to be any more useful in those scenarios than any other gun on the market. Go learn something about firearms (including this one) and you'll see why your statement is asinine.

While that's a good defense, you really only need to point out the $22,000 price tag to put down stupid statements like that.

Ukomba:
Hey I have a great idea, lets mount one of these guns on an ASIMO. While doing so, it's important to loudly ask, 'What could possibly go wrong?'.

That was my first thought.

Why bother packing around a rifle when you could make something to do it for you?

Or if you really want to pack it around yourself how about.....?

my first thought was someone has invented the freaking sentry gun system from aliens

Did anyone else think of Mass Effect when they read this? Its almost exactly what the codex describes for the masss accelerator guns they use

This was always coming, humans are good with making death and games have been using auto targeting for years, this is natrual progression.

Oh, good. So we have a commercially available assassination kit that requires no skill to use. Thanks, America. Glad to see that any life can now be easily wiped out by anybody with a grudge and $20,000.

...and yet marijuana remains illegal...

Ukomba:

MichiganMuscle77:

teamcharlie:
Hooray! Now even the most untrained of sociopaths can shoot children in schools from the comfort of a McDonald's a couple blocks away. And with a proper set-up, blind people can finally experience the joy of killing an innocent deer with a rifle that costs more than enough to feed a small family for years.

I see no downside to this weapon being put in the hands of functionally retarded, hate-filled, fear-mongering civilians.

Fun Fact:
This gun will not prove to be any more useful in those scenarios than any other gun on the market. Go learn something about firearms (including this one) and you'll see why your statement is asinine.

While that's a good defense, you really only need to point out the $22,000 price tag to put down stupid statements like that.

Good point.

Can't see too many people taking out a loan just to go on a murder rampage. Besides, if you're gonna spend 22k on something with which to kill, you could PROBABLY come up with something a lot more effective than this rifle.

el_kabong:
Oh, good. So we have a commercially available assassination kit that requires no skill to use. Thanks, America. Glad to see that any life can now be easily wiped out by anybody with a grudge and $20,000.

...and yet marijuana remains illegal...

...your life can EASILY be wiped out by anyone who wants your SHOES and has a $100 gun.

See, this is the kind of over-reaction typical of the anti-gun side. They know nothing about guns, they know nothing about gun crime, all they see is a big black scary piece of machinery and think "OH NOES I'M GONNA DIE!".

SERIOUSLY people... if you want to be taken seriously about the anti-gun crap you spew, PLEASE educate yourselves first.

el_kabong:
Oh, good. So we have a commercially available assassination kit that requires no skill to use. Thanks, America. Glad to see that any life can now be easily wiped out by anybody with a grudge and $20,000.

...and yet marijuana remains illegal...

Yeah that's the one thing that really worries me about this. I mean personally I think it's an awesome (and I mean that in the true sense of the word) piece of technology, and were I a rich man, I'd have one now, but that's not the point, people /cannot/ be fucking trusted, we've already had had mass shootings, and the one "upside" about that is the nutter kills himself or gets arrested and thrown in the slammer or given a lethal injection, now they can pick people off with lethal precision at 900 meters.

This is on a whole new level, imagine how much worse the CLeveland School Shootings would've been if Brenda Anne Spencer had one of these! If you're willing to go on a rampage, $20,000 means nothing to you, this is the sort of stuff that should only be sold to armies, in no way should this be allowed in civilian hands.

The problem isn't school shootings or rampages or anything of that caliber, the problem is assassinations. With that thing for everyone to buy on the market no politician, no celebrity and noone who ever pissed off someone with 20.000$ to spare and the lack of inhibition required is ever going to be save again.

The difference between this and a 100$ gun is not the effectiveness. Both kill. The difference is the likelihood to get away with it.

MonkeyPunch:
...and then someone will hack them. And make them shoot you in your own toe.

That was basically my first thought too, all that technology is nothing more than a massive vunerability that WILL get exploited, especially with the useless wifi to open the door....
I wonder how many people realize that the good old M1 Grand from WW2 or even WW1 rifles still work very effectively since very little has changed in how these weapons work. The more technology they cram into the guns the worse the owners get at using them, not better.

Well that is horrifying. At least with a human doing the aiming I have the illusion that I might have a chance of not being blasted into oblivion. This world is becoming so scary, not that it wasn't already but at least it felt like if it all went to hell in a hand basket the average person would have a chance. Now the military tech is becomeing so advanced it feels like the gulf between what a person can do and what a soldier has at their disposal is immense.

elvor0:

el_kabong:
Oh, good. So we have a commercially available assassination kit that requires no skill to use. Thanks, America. Glad to see that any life can now be easily wiped out by anybody with a grudge and $20,000.

...and yet marijuana remains illegal...

Yeah that's the one thing that really worries me about this. I mean personally I think it's an awesome (and I mean that in the true sense of the word) piece of technology, and were I a rich man, I'd have one now, but that's not the point, people /cannot/ be fucking trusted, we've already had had mass shootings, and the one "upside" about that is the nutter kills himself or gets arrested and thrown in the slammer or given a lethal injection, now they can pick people off with lethal precision at 900 meters.

This is on a whole new level, imagine how much worse the CLeveland School Shootings would've been if Brenda Anne Spencer had one of these! If you're willing to go on a rampage, $20,000 means nothing to you, this is the sort of stuff that should only be sold to armies, in no way should this be allowed in civilian hands.

Going by anti-gun advocates the fact that it has a much smaller ammo capacity means that it would be less effective. Honestly I would take anti-gun advocates much more seriously if they at least provided a united front. The anti-gun peeps seem to think all forms of strange things that mean nothing. If you wanted to kill someone you don't need a firearm. A gun just makes it easier to kill from a range. Take all the guns in the world away and you would see more bombings. Take all the bombs in the world away and you would see mass poisonings. The one thing that will hold constant no matter how much you ban things is that if a person wants to kill people bad enough, they will kill people.

I do think we need to be more restrictive about who can easily buy a gun, but that won't stop real criminals from owning guns as the other side of the argument seems to think.

OT: I think it is a neat concept, but the price is way too prohibitive for anything but a military sniper, and the only reason it would be cost effective for them is that it eliminates the need for a spotter.

RicoADF:

MonkeyPunch:
...and then someone will hack them. And make them shoot you in your own toe.

That was basically my first thought too, all that technology is nothing more than a massive vunerability that WILL get exploited, especially with the useless wifi to open the door....
I wonder how many people realize that the good old M1 Grand from WW2 or even WW1 rifles still work very effectively since very little has changed in how these weapons work. The more technology they cram into the guns the worse the owners get at using them, not better.

Very true, in fact most WW2 rifles remain more effective than their newer counterparts (well maybe effective isn't the word, reliable seems more fitting). People just see the more aggressive look that rifles have now and think "ohh scary" and want them banned. Wow this rifle can hold 30 rounds, lets ban that, while saying that shotguns are fine. Completely ignoring the fact that a shotgun is much more lethal in the arms of an untrained person than any rifle can hope to be.

el_kabong:
Oh, good. So we have a commercially available assassination kit that requires no skill to use. Thanks, America. Glad to see that any life can now be easily wiped out by anybody with a grudge and $20,000.

...and yet marijuana remains illegal...

Your life can already be easily wiped out by anyone with working limbs and eyesight.

Hell, for murder purposes, there is little reason to not buy a $1000 rifle and $10,000 worth of rounds for training to just become a better shot. Or a hundred bucks worth of explosives. Or some gasoline and a match.

This really changes nothing about the face of murder, since rifles make up an extremely small amount of murders, firearm or otherwise, to begin with. They just aren't very efficient for it in nearly every scenario.

el_kabong:
Oh, good. So we have a commercially available assassination kit that requires no skill to use. Thanks, America. Glad to see that any life can now be easily wiped out by anybody with a grudge and $20,000.

...and yet marijuana remains illegal...

...your life can EASILY be wiped out by anyone who wants your SHOES and has a $100 gun.

See, this is the kind of over-reaction typical of the anti-gun side. They know nothing about guns, they know nothing about gun crime, all they see is a big black scary piece of machinery and think "OH NOES I'M GONNA DIE!".

SERIOUSLY people... if you want to be taken seriously about the anti-gun crap you spew, PLEASE educate yourselves first.[/quote]

So, first off, being pro gun control doesn't mean I'm anti-gun any more than wanting FDA regulations make me anti-medicine or pro-sick-people. Second, I actually know quite a bit about guns. Coming from rural North Dakota, I've been surrounded by guns and gun owners my entire life and have been through the necessary firearms classes to ensure that I know how to handle them and, although it's not my main pastime, have fired my fair share of them.

So, knowing firearms, I know how difficult it can be for a shooter to actually hit anything with any sort of reliability, particularly if a target is moving and/or nerves are entering into it. In your hold-up scenario, if someone has a gun, they don't automatically win. There's a variety of combat techniques that make having a gun more of a liability in close quarters for you than the other person, if only because it gives the untrained a false sense that they have the upper hand. Although, if someone points a gun at me and wants my shoes, I would just give them the shoes. Not really worth a death-match. However, this gun eliminates any of the expertise needed to make the gun an efficient killing tool. Power and prowess gained without practice is the most likely to be abused.

So, maybe if you want these "anti-gun" people to think about our opinion before we overstep our knowledge, maybe you should do the same.

Wow, a real life aim-bot.. Never thought I'd see the day... I can imagine what the dude on the side that's being fired at will say.. "YOU HACKING SHIT!!! STOP WITH THE AIMBOT AND AIM FOR REAL YOU PUSSY!!!"

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