Colorado High Schooler invents Smart Gun

Kai Kloepfer designing the 'Smart Gun'
Kai Kloepfer designing the ‘Smart Gun’

In response to Colorado’s gun violence Smartech issued the Smart Tech For Fire Arms Challenge to help make firearms safer. Kai Kloepfer, a 17 year old high school student, won $50,000 cash prize for designing a smart gun prototype that applies biometric authentication to firearms.

The gun works by creating a user ID and locking in the fingerprint of each user allowed to operae the gun. The gun will only unlock with the specific fingerprint of those who have already permission to access the gun. The intelligent teen mentions he has an interest in information security. According to him, all user data is kept right on the gun and nothing is uploaded anywhere else so it would be pretty hard to hack (hopefully it’s better than iPhone security). This makes it possible for military applications as well.

Close up of the firearm
Close up of the firearm

“The idea came to me right as I was falling asleep. It was kinda in the back of my mind because of the shooting. I scribbled it down before I went to bed and fell asleep and then in the morning I began my research. Right now it’s a prototype on a plastic model. Its not entirely there but it work. Every 30 minutes in the U.S. a kid dies from a gun. I want my gun to help reduce accidental deaths and injuries, and to prevent tragedies.”

The prototype only cost $3,000 to produce and the earned $50,000 are already being put to improve the prototype.