SmartGrip Rifle Input Control

Frontline soldiers, police, emergency responders, and similar field-work personnel are commonly required to operate a multiplicity of electronic devices while doing their job. In addition to their weapon, a typical soldier is required to control radios, thermal sights, torches, laser designators, and computers (and more), each with their own unique and separate control interface. While each device is valuable, their combined impact increasingly diverts the soldier’s attention, decreasing his situational awareness, accuracy and responsiveness.

We have developed the “SmartGrip” Rifle Input Control (RIC) so that soldiers can quickly and safely access and control key functions of their electronic devices without having to take their hands off the weapon or eyes off task. The first military version, called the Rifle Input Control (RIC), was developed in collaboration with Thales Australia for attachment to the front of the Austeyr Rifle. The SmartGrip RIC has application in defence, homeland security and law enforcement markets worldwide.

The SmartGrip RIC has 5 buttons (one for each finger) and can be quickly attached to the front of most rifles which have a standard picatinny rail in the 6 o’clock position. It is operated by pressing single or multiple buttons (chords) – like playing a computer game controller. Small on-screen symbols show which buttons to press. Initially, the symbols guide the user (which is useful for training purposes) but after a relatively short time they remember the combinations (from muscle memory) and the interface can be operated “eyes free” – without the need for a display. Audio and voice prompting can be used to enhance this capability.

The SmartGrip RIC contains a small programmable microprocessor for interfacing to a limited number of electronic devices such as: Thermal Weapon Sights, Infra-red Sensors, Night Aiming Devices, Laser Range Finders, Radios, Torches and Computers. The latest version also contains prototype wireless circuitry so that it can control body worn devices without the need for cables. Adding new electronic devices requires a simple firmware upgrade instead of replacing the whole unit.

The SmartGrip RIC provides a simple generic interface which can be operated easily, quickly and safely under the most arduous of conditions. It can also be customized to meet individual user requirements or for particular roles or functions. It can capitalise on existing capability and turn a seemingly disparate suite of accessories into a truly integrated system without the need for sophisticated and often expensive computing technologies.

The SmartGrip RIC is available for trial and purchase. For pricing information and all inquiries about opportunities for exploitation and licensing please contact here.

A brochure on the SmartGrip RIC can be found here.

A general article on the importance of central control for soldier systems can be obtained from here.

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