Last month Yardarm Technologies, a California-based cell phone web products company, unveiled their new Safety First product. This product, if it catches on, could revolutionize the firearms market.
What does it do?
Debuted at the CITA Show in Las Vegas, Yardarm's product is billed as the "World's first wireless firearm safety technology for connected gun owners." With a device that installs into the firearm, it provides location awareness so that you can tell where your gun is at all times, which can come in handy, if lost or stolen. It can be set up to alert you via text message or email if the gun is handled or moved. Once alerted the user can remotely disable the gun, or report it to authorities. Besides this, the product gathers 'read-only access to real-time and historical reports of a firearm status, location, handling, and use.'
(Photo from Yardarm)
Pluses and minuses
While this sounds great for as a safety device if your gun is lost or stolen-- kind of like OnStar for your firearm, certain parts of the design sound a little creepy. If the user can disable the device remotely, could others use this option against the owner? Could this technology be hacked or pirated. It sounds Robert Heinlein, but imagine a whole country where all the firearms were set up with this type of technology and some non-nation terrorist actor or unsavory political force got access to that network?
Now let us not get overly bent out of shape here. This type of tech is inevitable and admittedly Yardarm states that it's totally optional and can be removed from the firearm or disabled by the owner whenever wanted.
Still, staying on the Sci Fi kick, "Big things have small beginnings"
Who is Yardarm Anyway?
According to corporationwiki Yardarm Technologies was founded as a Domestic LLC on Monday, September 17, 2007 in California. Their base of operation is Capitola, a small city of just under 10,000 on Monterey Bay popular as a tourist town. Their website http://www.yardarmtech.com/ popped up in August 2008 and trolling through archived pages shows that the company has long been in the business of marketing cell phone apps and private label phone web products.
The company is helmed by Robert (Bob) Stewart a veteran entrepreneur with decades of experience in the telecom industry.
It looks like Yardarm has the phone side of this all wrapped up and it certainly will see use in the future.
The questions are, will people buy it, and more importantly, will there be safeguards to make sure this type of technology does not trample civil rights in the future if the powers that be get involved. Furthermore, once this genie is out of the bottle, will it stay optional or someday become mandatory?
Weigh in on your thoughts below.