Ron Conway, an angel investor in some of the most successful startups of the past decade, from Google to Twitter, was holding a Christmas party in his San Francisco apartment overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge on Dec. 14. One of his guests that evening was former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
What was supposed to be a festive occasion turned solemn as Conway convened a prayer for the families of Newtown, CT and exhorted the leading lights of technology and venture capital gathered in his home to ingeniously help tackle the problem of gun violence.
There may be a lot of problems that deep pockets and tech startup ingenuity can’t help solve, but the epidemic of senseless mass shootings needn’t be one of them.
When Apple introduced its latest iPhone in September, the company added a fingerprint identity sensor. The new feature, called Touch ID, makes it virtually impossible for a child to pick up a parent’s iPhone 5S and dial random contacts, play Minecraft or surf the treacherous shoals of the Internet. Imagine what this technology could do for the most lethal consumer products ever known to mankind: firearms.
It’s not an abstract concept. The proliferation of innovations like Apple’s biometric sensor in the gadget business makes it increasingly feasible to envision similar applications for all sorts of industries, including those where there is a real potential to save lives. It’s hard to imagine a better place to start than with the gun manufacturers.