If the collapse of gun legislation in the US concerns you, fear not! Computer engineers at Vanderbilt University have developed a lightweight module that works in combination with a smartphone. This device, which about the size of a pack of cards, can pick up the “sonic signature” of a gun going off, and then sense shockwaves from the bullet. It sends the combined information to an Android phone, where it is plotted on a map.
So if you’re on the street and find yourself caught in the middle of a gang war, or are just randomly targeted by a sniper or gunman on a psychotic break, you will be able to pinpoint where the bullets are coming from. This should come in handy if you plan on returning fire. But if you’re planning on sitting tight and letting the police handle it, that’s good too. Chances are, they’ll have their own units on them, as will soldiers.
The device is essentially a commercialized version of military technology under development by DARPA. And aside from ordinary citizens, it’s likely to be picked up for use by bodyguards and the police. Earlier versions were tested with the US armed forces, but the team has since developed two versions of the device, one for commercial use that requires four units to located where a shooter is coming, and the militarized version that requires only two.
These and other subsequent versions are likely to be incorporated into all Future Force Warrior designs, giving soldiers the ability to detect where snipers and enemy combatants are shooting at them from. These are likely to come handy in densely populated areas, or in areas where insurgents and guerrillas constitute the majority of enemy combatants – as has been the case in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Granted, a far easier solution would solution would be to get the guns off the streets. But seeing as how that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, due in large part to the powerful pro-gun lobby in Washington, people may want to invest in some of these boxes. After all, if there’s a lesson in the most recent deadlock, it is that citizens have the right to protect themselves. This way, they can do so without having to buy a hand gun, assault weapon, or body armor!