My thoughts on Beretta’s Pod Gun 2

Beretta_GunPod2_Detail2

TFB has covered a product update by Beretta, the GunPod2, which is essentially an electronic box that’s installed inside a shotgun stock. It can track your hunting path, shots taken, and store all that information in the cloud.

The internet has responded to gun tech in some of the following ways:

  • “I hate ‘smart’ everything. I like my guns dumb.”
  • “This is revolutionary!”
  • “What’s next, the NSA will be able to track and disable guns with onboard electronics?”

As someone who worked at Google for five years, I’m always interested in technology, especially gun tech. There are some really stupid apps out there (yes, “Yo” — I’m looking at you), but technology can enhance your experience, and I’m curious to see if shooters will find Beretta’s GunPod 2 useful or not.

Right now, the GunPod 2 can track your walking path, datestamp and geolocate the shots you take. Within the app, you can take pictures+video from your phone and associate it with particular shots.

GP2_leaflet_map

GunPod 2 tracks your hunting/walking path via GPS. Photo courtesy of Beretta.

This is a pretty good start but I think there’s more potential. What if I own a GoPro or other onboard camera and want to sync the footage with my GunPod 2 data? I have been on multiple bird hunts where I turn on my GoPro hoping some ducks keep coming, but they flare out. I then have multiple files I have to sift through to find the good video footage of ducks going down.

Beretta needs to open up the GunPod via an API so other products can interact with it. Thankfully, I had a conversation with Beretta’s Communication & Marketing Manager, Riccardo Zanardelli, who said that API access is on the list of future features. Beretta wants to get a solid product out there before it starts going into feature creep which I can’t argue with.

Right now, I think the GunPod 2 is fairly limited to hunters but I could see some potential uses around:

  • Skeet/trap/sporting clays courses wanting to keep track of how many shots are fired through rental guns
  • Competition shooters tracking round counts

However, I’m not convinced these are strong drivers and so we’ll have to wait and see how the shooting community receives Beretta’s GunPod 2 once it becomes available more widely available. The new GunPod 2 is initially only available on the A400 Xplor, with plans to expand to other Beretta shotgun models. I’d also like to see the GunPod become a standalone module a shooter can install on any shotgun.

So is the GunPod 2 just some superfluous technology bolted onto a gun? I think it’s a good start — Beretta is just getting started trying to figure out how to enhance the shooter experience. I’ll be getting a first hand experience with the GunPod 2 later this year and am looking forward to sharing my experience with TFB readers.



Chris Cheng

Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion and author of “Shoot to Win,” a book for beginning shooters. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career.

He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. He resides in San Francisco, CA and works in Silicon Valley.

www.TopShotChris.com.


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  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Just something else that can break.
    Fit Bit for guns.

    • allannon

      As long as the gun doesn’t break, whatever.

  • allannon

    I don’t mind this type of smart gun, as it’s removable or disablable without adversely effecting the core function of the gun.

    Until some dipshit tries to get it mandated for tracking, but that’s a legislative rather than technical issue.

    • Matt

      ..”as it’s removable or disablable..”
      Take out the battery?….

      • allannon

        Yup. That puts it in a whole different category from the usual “smart gun”, where if the “smart” component isn’t working neither does the gun.

        • The “GunPod 2”, like the “iProtect”, is not conceived as “Smart Gun” technology. It’s basically a gadget. And in both cases, unlike the ARMATIX “Smart Gun Technology”, its operation does not (and can not, and it’s not meant to) affect the working of the gun itself.

  • As a gunwriter, I can say that Beretta’s GunPod 2 is an excellent solution.

    I still need to figure out what problem it’s supposed to address, though.

    • John Daniels

      It’s for people who have religious prohibitions against the use of pockets, so they have to put the GPS in something they’ll have in their hands at all times.

      • I thought it was conceived for impaired shooters who can’t subtract the number of shells they have left from the number of shells the brought at the range and know exactly how many shots they fired through their gun.

  • patrickiv

    Fix yer title.

  • Julio

    “is the GunPod 2 just some superfluous technology bolted onto a gun?
    It sounds to me like you already know that the answer to this question is yes.

  • Ethan

    So really it’s more like a Fit-Bit for your shotgun than what typically comes to mind when the term “smart gun” is used.

    Good.