Today I attended the Seattle “Smart Gun” Gun Symposium presented by Washington Technology Industry Association in association with Washington CeaseFire.
As you might guess Washington CeaseFire is the primary anti-gun group in Washington State. Ralph Fascitelli, president of Washington CeaseFire, spoke several times and was clearly hostile to gun ownership. But he was fair to and respectful of gun owners.
I talked to several people from the panels and Washington Ceasefire board members one-on-one during and after the event and will report in detail with my next post.
One of the people on a panel was the CEO of Allied Biometrix. Allied Biometrix is a California based startup that is licensing commercial rights to firearms user-authenticating technology developed at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). He clearly understood the limitations of the technology and did not overstate the potential as some of the anti-gun people did. For example New Jersey State Senator Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg suggested the technology could have made a difference in the Sandy Hook and the Charlie Hebdo shootings. When I asked Allied Biometrix what their opinion on this was he said, “Give me a break!”
Allied Biometrix has some technology that I could see having promise in certain applications. I asked him for test result information and he requested I contact someone else for that and gave me a phone number. I called the New Jersey phone number but it was after 6:00 PM their time and the call went to voicemail. Using the name and phone number I found the contact’s email address and sent him the following:
From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 3:23 PM
Subject: Error rates for dynamic grip recognition.
I’m a software engineer with a master’s degree in electrical engineering. When I left Pacific Northwest National Laboratories in 2005 I was a Senior Research Scientist working on biometrics.
I was at the Smart Gun Symposium today and spoke with the CEO of Allied Biometrix. He suggested I contact you to get my questions answered.
Can you give me the approximate error rates with the dynamic grip recognition technology used with firearms authentication?
I can envisions there being many ways to test this. Can you elaborate on the test methods used to arrive at the numbers you claim?
In particular claiming a 0.001 false authorization rate when testing with a single unauthorized user attempting to fire the gun 10000 times is different than testing 10000 users for one attempted false authorization each. Also, there is the matter of unauthorized users deliberately attempting to defeat the system via changing their grip versus repeatedly using it in a natural, to them, manner.
Similar issues can make the numbers for false rejection of an authorized user problematic. For example I would expect a high stress situation or injury would change authorization rate. As might hands swollen or partially numb from the cold.
Can you give me test data that would at least partially address my questions?
I would like to use any information you provide me on my blog. But if you would prefer I keep information confidential and just use general information I can respect that and would be grateful for any information you can give me.
I will have one or more posts on the symposium by the end of the day tomorrow and if my contact on the dynamic grip technology supplies extensive test data I’ll devote an entire post to that.
Dave Workman was sitting just ahead of me for the press conference (about an hour before the actual symposium) but left before the symposium started. He does have his response to the press conference here and it is something you should read.