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New Jersey Institute of Technology Moves Ahead To Get Smart Gun on Market

NEWARK, September 5--New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Metal Storm Limited, Brisbane, Australia, a research and development company, signed a formal partnership agreement earlier this week to commercialize biometric technology patented by NJIT and applied to an electronic handgun developed by Metal Storm.

The gun is called the O’Dwyer VLeâ. NJIT’s recently patented, dynamic grip recognition technology uses multiple small electronic sensors embedded in both sides of the gun’s handle to identify the user.

“NJIT’s patented dynamic grip recognition technology is well developed and has already met and passed some of the most demanding test standards. It is on track to out perform today’s mechanical counterparts,” said Charles Vehlow, CEO of Metal Storm.

“Our technology represents the future in handgun safety and control,” said Donald H. Sebastian, Ph.D., vice president of research and development for NJIT. “NJIT has determined that Metal Storm’s O’Dwyer VLe ® electronic handgun is the most viable handgun to integrate our dynamic grip recognition technology. We believe the combination will meet the requirements of the New Jersey legislation mandating the sale of personalized handguns.”

The handgun developed by Metal Storm allows a range of personalizing technology to be incorporated into Metal Storm’s original design. “This is not just electronics bolted onto a traditional gun design. It is a revolutionary approach to firearms that we believe to be an exceptional fit with our technology,” said Sebastian.

The New Jersey Legislature has financially supported the development of personalized weapons technology at NJIT, since the spring of 2000. In December of 2002, the State of New Jersey passed the nation’s first legislation specifying that three years after it is determined that personalized handguns are available for retail sale, dealers and manufacturers will not be able to legally sell, assign or transfer any handgun unless it is personalized.

“The commercial potential of having a personalized handgun which meets legislative requirements is significant,” said Vehlow. “The technology creates markets on a state, national and international scale. The market is massive with more than 943,000 handguns being manufactured in the U.S. alone in 2001.”

In related news, Metal Storm introduced today in Australia a Share Purchase Plan (SPP) to raise up to $15 million in capital. Funds raised from the issue of shares pursuant to the SPP will be used to supplement the company’s working capital. It is estimated that it will take $6 to $ 7 million (U.S. dollars) to build a first production prototype of the personalized handgun. Some of the SPP funds may be used to accelerate this project. Further announcements in relation to this opportunity will be made as the project develops and further agreements in the process towards commercialization of the personalized handgun, such as technology licensing and manufacturing agreements, are entered into.


NJIT is a public, scientific and technological research university enrolling more than 8,800 students. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to students in 80 degree programs throughout its six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College and College of Computing Sciences. The division of continuing professional education offers adults eLearning, off campus degrees and short courses. Expertise and research initiatives include architecture and building science, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and science, information technology, manufacturing, materials, microelectronics, multimedia, telecommunications, transportation and solar astrophysics. NJIT ranks in Tier 2 of U.S. News & World Report’s list of national doctoral universities.

Contact Information:   Sheryl Weinstein
Public Relations
(973) 596-3436 




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