Kord Defence SmartGrip Rifle Input Control

rifle_input_control-tfb

The Kord Defence SmartGrip RIC (Rifle Input Control) is a picatinny rail mounted device which allows easy control of electronic devices attached to the gun itself and of devices carried by the user. The control has four buttons which can be programmed so that certain “chords” (combinations of keys) perform certain actions. It could be used for controlling just about anything without the operator having to remove a hand from the rifle. For example it could be used for radio operation, controlling night vision, adjusting scope reticles or sending predefined messages with GPS coordinates.

In an article earlier this year I briefly mentioned the version of the SmartGrip RIC (Rifle Input Control) which Kord Defence and Thales Australia developed specifically for the Austeyr EF-88 rifle.

Overly ambitious Future Solider programs may have fallen by the wayside, but with soldiers slowly being equipped with more and more electronic equipment, control devices like the SmartGrip will eventually become a necessity.

The system can be used configured for a wired or wireless connection to the operators body. It has a 12+ month battery life and weighs 7 oz.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • TOPO

    I’ll wait to get it till they release the “Guitar Hero” Add-On.

    “Guitar Hero tactical carbine” for tacticool gaming was my first thought seeing that four button layout… just like this scene from Waltz with Bashir: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQX0NU9lvDA (no political intentions with the video) :D

  • dayledabomb

    I’m not sure about combat rifles but.. is that an Steyr AUG ?

    • bbmg
      • lurker

        It’s not just any SA80, it’s a proper mish-mash of a horribly off-colour L85A1 TMH (Trigger Mechanism Housing) and [what would appear to be a] matching upper, with the A1-style bolt handle, but with the latest railed forend featured on Afghan-spec L85A2s.
        The sight I have no idea about, but it looks like nothing I’ve ever had the pleasure of spying at any of HM’s armories I’ve visited.

    • bbmg

      Unless you meant the rifle in the third and fourth pictures: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beretta_ARX_160

    • JonathanF

      It’s not even the A1 cocking handle, it’s the one on the airsoft springer version. It’s bad even by comparison with airsoft guns.

  • gunslinger

    so…um… how does this work? i’m assuming some type of network protocol (rs232, 485, canopen, profi, device…etc?) then each of the devices needs to be able to work with said protocol, or you’d have to carry a controller to “convert” from one thing to another.

    and wireless? wasn’t there a fuss about another type of gun tech that could be “hacked” to make not work? was it that rail power device w/comm?

    • Other Steve

      Most responsible would be FT-CAN or LIN, but the powered rail post a couple weeks back talked about SPI which is a fucking joke considering that SPI was a comm bus in the original Atari.

      Anything two-wire without redundancy would be stupid. SPI is three wire without redundancy. I’d suggest redundant LIN to keep costs down and speed is not an issue but I’d do a lot of things differently. A stupid grip with “chords” to mistype in under stress is definitely one of them.

  • Chucky

    Button designations:
    1 shuffle track on MP3 player
    2 camera shutter
    3 Twitter
    4 Facebook

  • FormerSFMedic

    This thing is ridiculous. What’s with all these companies wanting to build these switches for all these accessories troops are carrying? Our troops are carrying less electronics on their weapons, not more. In the future the list of bolt on weapons accessories will be less and less. The USMC has already eliminated the need for multiple accessories on the forend by adopting the PEQ16B. As advancements are made in accessories, there will be almost no need for these switches, which is an extra accessory in itself. I would rather run everything individually than bolt on another item that would weigh me down even more.

    With all that said, the biggest problem I have seen with this piece of gear is that it doesn’t even allow you to use it with a proper grip on the gun! Sounds great, I won’t be able to hit what I’m aiming at but I’ll be able to use “all” these accessories. Ridiculous!

    • Trevor

      USMC have a listed and published requirement for a quote “Rifle Accessory Control Unit (RACU)”.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/MickiMahoney MJ

    The “Sa-80″ actually looks to be a plastic mock-up. The trigger is different from the chunky, plastic monstrosity that afflicts the real thing and the hold-open catch shouldn’t be pointing at 7 o’clock like that.

    As for the SmartGrip itself, it just looks like another opportunity to do the wrong thing at the wrong time, to me. Rather than switching on your flash-light with a button mounted on said flash-light, you now have to press a “chord” to do so. Of course, pressing the wrong “chord” might activate your radio or laser or any one of your other gizmos; a faux-pas that might result in anything from mild embarrassment to an RPG upside the head.

    And which “chord” activates God-mode anyway?

    • JonathanF

      It’s the cheap Chinese airsoft SA80 – the cocking handle is a dead giveaway. Also gets used in British dramas when they can’t be bothered to approach the MoD for mil involvement.

    • 6677

      Pretty sure a real sa80 reciever isn’t grey or has a glossy finish (aka as cheap plastic)

  • W

    I dont agree with this system. It violates the KISS principle, which is essential for a combat rifle accessory.

    There’s the PEQ16 with a visible and invisible IR laser and white light. No need for a system as bulky and complicated as the “smartgrip”

    Oh and lets not forget the Silynx C4Grip designed for optimal manipulation of a flashlight, laser, and communications systems.

    With those two systems combined, you have something that is very simple, easy to use, and simply better.

    • Alex-mac

      This is just a much more powerful, if ergonomically inferior Silynx C4Grip. This control system is meant for the future, where we will have more devices and accessories, with more features. Integrated night and thermal vision devices, airburst grenades and sights with ballistic calculators for example.

      Once chords are memorised, accuracy and speed wise this is the best system.

      Hopefully this is not the final version as the ergonomics suck.

      • W

        i disagree that well have “more” accessories”.

        I believe future systems will take the path of being more versatile, which is already happening with the PEQs. Now the latest one gets you a visible red and invisible IR laser as well as a flashlight. You can certainly create such a system that also has a integrated laser range finder that is compatible with a ballistic optical sight.

        I think the accessories in the future will be integrated increasingly inside singular systems in the future.

      • Alex-mac

        Miniturization will mean more accesories will fit on rifles. But it also means more integration of existing accessories.

        One thing is certain though, soldiers will have more features available, and that means more functions, clearly a superior control interface is required, this is it.

    • Trevor

      W wrote that this violates the KISS principle, which is essential for a combat rifle accessory. Fully agreed. However, Laser designator and illumination systems have rats tail remote pressure switches. When aggregated, the soldier can therefore have a number of remote switches on his weapon – not KISS. Radios also have remote PTT. Silynx is an excellent system but is dedicated to the flashlight and laser. This is accessory independent and can control all and any weapon and body mounted electronic accessories without taking a hand off the weapon or eyes off task. Field trials have shown it to be much more simple that using multiple controls on different accessories all mounted in different positions and halves the speed of response time. It facilitates multitasking as you can maintain situational awareness looking through any sight whilst operating PEQ, flashlight and both personal radios and combat net radios. This is aimed at keeping it simple for the close combat soldier.

  • Lance

    This is a horrible idea if your out of ammo and need to pick up a fallen buddy’s rifle you cant wont work this is more PC crap anti-gunners are making up for the civilian market this is horrible for military ops.

    • Lance

      Sorry wrong post.

  • Mike Knox

    I liked the one on the U.S. O.I.C.W. Interface better..

  • Alex-mac

    A better position on the rail would be vertical or diagonal, that way it can double as a forward grip.

    • Alex-mac

      Actually an adjustable rail attachment positioning system would ergonomically be the best option. And for a device like this that will be used constantly, ergonomics and comfort is very important.

    • Trevor

      Alex Mac. Agree that it may be better in a vertical grip although the front of the RIC allows this style of holding the weapon. Changing to vertical design is not a major issue.

  • Dreppo

    If your future soldier program isn’t overly ambitious, it’s not a proper future soldier program! Shoot for the stars, because at very least you’ll ram into the moon at dangerous speed!

  • Nielsen

    I just need to get this out of the way since I’ve seen it so many times on this blog. You consistently write »solider« every time one would expect it to be »soldier«.
    Is this some form of a running gag or what gives?

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t Hawkeye have one of those in The Avengers?