What’s next? The interview of Smart Armaments by TheChairsofterShow

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On the 24th of February 2020, we had an opportunity to get interviewed by TheChairsofterShow which is an online podcast about airsoft from the UK.

If you are a fan of airsoft and you’re interested in learning more about news on the market, interesting interviews with airsoft veterans and famous airsoft brands you should definitely check and subscribe to TheChairsofterShow in your favorite podcasts app.

The participants of the podcast were: Andy (TheChairsofterShow), Matt (Head of Marketing at Smart Armaments) and Greg (Chief Technology Officer at Smart Armaments).

You can listen to the podcast for free on SoundCloud below or at any other podcasting app (such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts or CastBox).

The product

Andy was intrigued by SIGMA AEP MOSFET because when he thinks about the airsoft, in general, he does not think about people using AEPs in the UK that much. That’s why it brought his attention to the MOSFET that Smart Armaments is creating for AEPs.

Smart Armaments:
We decided to start with the MOSFET as our first product, but not the last one, because we’ve seen that there’s a niche. We see that in Central Europe more and more people start using AEPs as an alternative to other types of pistols for airsoft.

It’s mostly caused by the fact that they are cheaper and they work under any weather conditions. It matters when they’re compared to gas pistols which stop working under 11 degrees Celsius (52 Fahrenheit).

We believe that it makes them a great alternative to gas pistols. We noticed that there’s a problem on the market that there are a lot of AEP owners that are seeking ways to tune them up, but apart from lipomod there are not many things that you can do with your electric pistol to increase its performance.

That’s was the reason why Smart Armaments decided to create a product that will solve this problem.

The company and the idea behind it

Andy (The Chairsofter Show):
You have giants on the market such as GATE or BlackTalon Concepts with Spectres or Titans for the rifles. I’ve never heard of a one for an AEP. I’ve got Tokyo Marui pistols and they work, but I’m probably lucky and we do not have quite harsh winters as you guys have in Poland. Let’s talk about

Smart Armaments:
The idea is quite interesting because Smart Armaments is currently in the startup phase. It’s privately held by 4 friends. We’re at the moment that we want to launch the first product to the market which is the SIGMA AEP MOSFET. We want to gain brain awareness withing the airsoft community.

The idea behind creating this company was to deliver technologically advanced superiority on the airsoft battlefield for airsoft veterans that are seeking innovation in airsoft accessories that are easy to apply without any advanced skills more than soldering the MOSFET.

Everything started when Greg invited Matt, Adrian, and Michael for an airsoft game, where we could rent the gear because we haven’t had our own. All of us met at this event because we didn’t know each other at the moment.

We come from different industries with different professional experiences. It all started with Michael, who had an aerial drone company that was providing SKANSKA with drones. He’s a guy crazy about R&D (Research and Development) and after we’ve started playing airsoft weekend by the weekend he came to us with the first prototype of a product (TCU – Tactical Computing Unit).

We thought that we should combine and use our experience to bring it to the world of airsoft and create something extraordinary that could shift the way that some people play airsoft. We saw that some airsoft veterans could use the technology brought by us to get superiority for them and their teams during the events.

Back in 2017 when we first played airsoft we didn’t know that we will start a company or that we will be working on airsoft gadgets and accessories.

Andy (The Chairsofter Show):
It’s weird how you start doing things in airsoft as I started in 2013-2014. I had no idea I’ll be starting a podcast and it’s the second year actually. I’m just scrolling through the website and this thing it’s tiny, and it’s of the size of a 50 cents coin.

Smart Armaments:
It’s because you have very limited space in the AEP pistols, so this is what makes the MOSFET a niche because other MOSFETs are easy to fit them into an AEG, but they’re a bit too big to fit them into an AEP.

That’s why we had to develop another unit, but it’s worth to mention here that it’s not another “dumb” MOSFET which is just like an electric switch, but it’s a computerized version of a MOSFET that brings additional features that we’ve listed there, such as enhancing your airsoft pistol with a burst mode that can help you manage your ammo more efficiently because you don’t have to either shoot one bb when you pull a trigger or full auto. You can choose to shoot three of four bbs each time you pull the trigger.

When it comes to the size of the SIGMA AEP MOSFET we can say that it was the biggest challenge we’ve been dealing with during the development of this product. It’s really hard to fit it in the AEP’s leftover space.

Greg was responsible and he managed to find a way to build so small MOSFET that can be applied to almost any AEP available on the market easily and at the same time it will not be more expensive than an AEP itself.

Features of SIGMA

Andy (The Chairsofter Show):
I’m interested in discussing some of the features you have like battery supervisor, what you can obviously see in the bigger MOSFETs and it’s great that you have it because it’s the worst when the battery is going dead and then you try to charge it and boom. We’ve all seen the memes. You’ve got the burst mode, you’ve also got this thing I’m interested as well, the haptic feedback you guys are doing, so it vibrates if I read it correctly?

Smart Armaments:
We’ve provided it. For us, it’s a minor feature but it allows you to interact with your weapon in such a way that the pistol will vibrate with the motor when the battery’s level is low or when the user sets the additional features. The user may choose the setting for the LiPo battery 2s (7.4 V) or 3s (11.1 V), the user is able to set up to use the burst mode or not.

By pulling the trigger the user may jump by each feature and decide to set it or not.

Andy (The Chairsofter Show):
It’s awesome. Like I said, this thing is tiny, because it’s going into an AEP. I’m looking onto the pictures right now.

Smart Armaments:
Yes, it’s tiny and most of the space is taken by the wiring.

The development timeline of SIGMA AEP MOSFET

Andy (The Chairsofter Show):
How long has it taken you guys to develop this product to the moment when you’re ready to sell? From idea to being ready to go out and sell it.

Smart Armaments:
It took us half a year. We went through the phase of development quite easily, except the density of the components, but we had to design the whole website, create the entire marketing and such. The whole idea of Smart Armaments started with the product first not with the brand, landing pages or anything. I’d like to mention here (Greg) the idea of this MOSFET is to gather the community around Smart Armaments and to gather feedback about our products because the future products that we have on our roadmap are going to be more like based more on people’s opinion.

We do not want to put unnecessary features into our products. We want to listen to what airsoft veterans need on the battleground.

At first, we thought we’ll be able to provide it faster to the market, but as we really believe in gathering feedback from the real users and ensuring that the MOSFET will fit most or all of the AEPs on the market as you have replicas of Glock, USPs, and Berettas. They have different amounts of leftover space.

We needed to find enough people with different replicas to make sure that our product will fit all of them.

We went through at least two phases of gathering feedback and improving the SIGMA AEP MOSFET. We’d be ready at this moment to release it to the market, but because of the COVID-19 epidemy in China, we’re facing some problems with deliveries of components from factories. Everything is prolonged and delayed.

We hope that we’ll figure it out and release it soon to the market.

Andy (The Chairsofter Show):
For the people who’re listening, Matt and Greg. What’d you say to convince them to try out using the AEPs as opposed to the gas blowback system?

Smart Armaments:
AEPs are great. You can use your airsoft electric pistol in cold temperatures, which is one of the most important advantages for people that are located in northern Europe. I know that (Greg) maybe in the UK it’s not an issue, but for the gas pistols, you can’t make such modifications that AEPs might have.

// Check “5 reasons to choose an AEP over gas pistol for airsoft” on our Blog! //

There aren’t many computerized MOSFETs available on the market, but the SIGMA AEP MOSFET may bring some really fancy features that airsoft players may appreciate.

Andy (The Chairsofter Show):
I see that there are maybe two people that are actually doing it at the moment. Anyway, it’s going to be really interesting how this takes off.

Other Smart Armaments’ products

Andy (Tha Chairsofter Show):
What else you’ve got in the pipeline at the moment? What you guys working on that you’re willing to talk about at the moment?

Smart Armaments:
We’re open to unveil what we’re working on. We’re not that kind of a company that will try to keep our products under the blanket. Which leads to that nobody will ever hear about them.

We decided to start with the MOSFET because they are something that’s already well-known on the market and people are searching for them. We do not want to become another company that is focused on producing only MOSFETs.

We are eager to create products that are nothing that the market already knows. Right now we have three other products in our roadmap that are in the prototyping phase.

Currently, we’re testing them with the real users, we are improving them, we are changing the assumptions.

Our main product will be the TCU – Tactical Computing Unit, which will be a small display that can be attached to an airsoft gun. It will be able to provide you with an experience similar to FPS computer games and having the HUD.

TCU will allow you to control your ammo, control your frags and kill-to-death ratio. The main goal of the product will be to give a user increased situational awareness.

The ammo counter feature will ensure that you will never have a situation that you get into the building, you see the enemy, you pull the trigger and you hear the click but no bang. TCU will show you when you should reload.

That’s just one of the products that we’re working on and of course, we want to add more features and values into it.

Another product that we’d like to introduce will be an improved version of a tracer that will also have some nice features that will make it viable during the daylight.

The last product that we have in the roadmap is a thermal vision camera that can be easily attached to airsoft helmets which is dedicated to people that are passionate about MILSIM as much as we are.

// Check the article on gear preparation for a MILSIM event on our Blog! //

Here in Poland, we have many MILSIMs that last 24 to 48 hours straight with no break for sleeping and we fight during the night in the complete darkness. The main factor that will distinguish our thermal vision camera from others will be the price. It wouldn’t need you to sell your kidney to buy one.

Andy (The Chairsofer Show):
I’d be really interested to see those products, especially the thermal vision camera, especially as you don’t have to sell your kidney on the black market to afford it. It seems like you guys have got a lot in your pipeline. I’m really looking forward to following you, guys progress. Is there anything else you guys want to talk about?

Smart Armaments:
Yes. There’s one thing. We already have prototypes both of the thermal vision camera and tactical computing unit, but taking the prototype to the market is a really challenging process, that’s why we decided to create a MOSFET to gather the community first and in the meantime, we’re developing the remain products. We don’t know yet which one will be next, but the prototypes are there.

Another thing worth mentioning is that we aim to create an ecosystem of products working together to bring more value than working standalone. It’s simple to the Apple strategy, as their products give you best then they are all synced.

Smart Armaments products will give you many more advantages and features when combined.

Andy (The Chairsofter Show):
It sounds really good. It’s definitely interesting. Guys make sure you check smartarmaments.com to keep up to date. It’s been great speaking guys to you and finding out what’s going on and I look forward to hearing how’s it’s going to you.

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