Thursday, 9 Jan 2014

TrackingPoint firearms

In the near future, you won’t even need to know how to fire a rifle to be a crack shot.

At the Consumer Electronic Show, the Austin, Texas-based start-up TrackingPoint showed off its all-new 500 Series AR Smart Rifle, a gun that makes it almost impossible for any user to miss.

TrackingPoint is the inventor of Precision Guided Firearms, a guided shooting system that the company says creates the most accurate guns in the world. The new rifle is the company’s first semi-automatic series.

This technology turns even a neophyte into a marksman, at least within a 500-yard range. The user simply “tags” the target, and the gun and ammo do the rest, all for a mere $9,950—the starting price for the new series.

In fact, the system is so accurate that a user will have up to five times the accuracy of an experienced shooter, said Oren Schauble, the company’s marketing director.

The gun can track a target moving at up to 10 mph and allows for rapid engagement, meaning a person can shoot multiple targets quickly.

But TrackingPoint doesn’t want people to think of it as just a fancy gun maker. The company is really focused on the technology inside the gun, Schauble said.

“Firearms have been the same for decades, the same old design in guns and ammunition,” he said.

“What defines our product from the rest of the marketplace is that our firearms integrate technology. We always try to ask ourselves, what in the technology space has not been applied to the arms space and how can we do it?”

TrackingPoint, which rolled out its first Precision Guided Firearm last year, doesn’t just include the technology for a perfect shot. It also integrates other technological functions into it, such as video capabilities and Wi-Fi connectivity. These features allow users to record their hunting expeditions and even share the footage on social media platforms, like Facebook and YouTube.

“The reason we are at CES is because a lot of interest in our technology doesn’t come from gun space. Executives and hunters who are in technology make up most of our clients and they see how the technology could be used elsewhere,” he said. “Don’t be surprised if you see us using this technology for other things.”

TrackingPoint makes most of its money from gun sales, but also licenses out some of its technology to Remington. It is also has an assessment contract with the military right now, meaning it’s looking to develop technology for them as well.

The company’s 500 Series AR Smart Rifle officially launched on Wednesday and is available for pre-order for nearly $10,000. More than 40 orders had been received as of Thursday.

But not everyone who wants the new smart rifle will be able to get their hands on it.

TrackingPoint doesn’t sell it’s guns to just anybody. Besides the background check that all applicants must go through, the company also has it’s own set of standards for purchasers.

The company wants only active users who will provide regular performance feedback on the weapon, Schauble said.

Because the company is still young and the technology is still new, TrackingPoint wants as much user input and sharing of data as possible in order to enhance the weapon’s precision and capabilities, he said.

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