Timmy Oh, founder of Vara Safety and inventor of Reach, responds to growing questions on social media pertaining to the new firearm safe.
Latham, N.Y. (March 2019) – Vara Safety, a company dedicated to designing and combining biometric technology with firearms safety, announce a new video, “Reach: Quickstart Guide,” demonstrating the ease of securing and setting up the firearm safe.
What makes Reach and Vara Safety unique is two-fold. First, the founder and designer, Timmy Oh, is a shooting enthusiast in a big way. Second, Reach was not developed in the dark. Reach was born out of research. Timmy conducted personal interviews with over 1,500-gun owners, utilized his close relationship with his uncle, a police officer with the LAPD, and spoke with people from all walks of life, from single mothers in high-crime neighborhoods to a gun-store-owning grandma, while developing a prototype that answered the biggest concerns regarding firearms safety in the home: security and access.
As a result of the company’s launch this year, quite a buzz has been created online. Pre-orders are now available on the Vara Safety website, but many potential customers still have questions. One of the predominant concerns regarding the device is the use of a biometric fingerprint scanner to unlock the firearm. For the millennial generation, fingerprint scanners are a common security system on a variety of tech products used daily with a great deal of confidence. Over 95 percent of Americans now embrace mobile technology, such as a smartphone that employs a fingerprint scanner for owner/user recognition and security. Vara Safety is using an industry-leading capacitive sensor that implements a learning algorithm that continually updates a registered fingerprint to accommodate the slightest changes, cuts and other features of the fingerprint. “We have optimization features for Reach’s biometric scanner that are better than that of the sensors found in smartphones,” Oh explained. “In fact, our sensor can accommodate a degree of moisture and still function properly, as tested by other leading safe companies using the same sensor.”
The sensor and locking system is powered by electricity and a backup battery. The mounting platform is also the charging mount, ensuring Reach is always powered. In case of an emergency, the internal backup battery keeps Reach powered and fully operable. “We are currently testing our production pilot units this month to provide us and our customers with specific data on the backup battery life and actuations.” Reach’s smart charging system monitors the health of the battery and ensures maximum battery life. While Reach is plugged into a power outlet, the internal battery is bypassed to preserve its optimal battery life.
Oh started this project at age 17. As a firearms enthusiast, he understood the need to have instant access to a home protection firearm. But he also wanted to find a way to keep children and other unauthorized people from having access to a loaded firearm. Reach is a smart solution allowing gun owners to safely secure a loaded firearm in the home, office or vehicle confidently. Curious children will not be able to draw the firearm from its safe, as the unique locking system automatically holds the front trigger guard, avoiding the trigger (eliminates the possibility of an accidental discharge) and prevents the gun from being pulled out by force. “In response to early feedback we had concerning access to the magazine, we have made adjustments to our manufacturing mold and the magazine release button will be covered by the insert and not accessible,” Oh added. “We know kids love to push buttons and our goal is to make Reach as inaccessible as possible to children.”
“We have noticed several comments on social media, regarding concerns with the potential theft of Reach with the firearm in it,” Oh went on. “First of all, we call Reach a safe because once it is properly mounted, the only access to the screw that secures the Reach unit is via the backup key, which we strongly suggest is kept in its own secure location. We will also be doing some destructive testing on the production units and that is information we will readily share with our customers.”
Unlike the array of single firearms safes on the market today, Reach is super compact, an 8.25” x 5” x 4” holster-size safe with an anodized aluminum alloy housing and a molded composite polymer insert designed to securely hold a firearm (models initially launched will be for GLOCKS, 1911’s, Smith & Wesson M&P Shields and Springfield Armory XD-S pistols). “We like to think that if Steve Jobs had to design a firearm safe, Reach would be it. He believed that technology should serve people and at the same time be beautiful.”
Availability is still on schedule for early summer 2019 and pre-orders are still available but limited with a $100 offer off for early supporters. Even before products hit the market, Oh is listening to potential customers and new products are already in the works. “We take feedback very seriously at Vara Safety to ensure we are making products that exceed your expectations. Because of the dialog on social media, we are now in process of developing a left-hand Reach, a weapon-mounted light version and will be able to offer a wide variety of anodized aluminum finishes and colors, much like the Apple MacBook. As our official launch date grows near, we are very excited to be able to offer gun owners the epitome of firearm safe home protection in a quick-access and very secure platform. Reach is the most viable option available that addresses the two major requirements gun owners demanded for home protection: access and security.”
To read more about the background of Oh’s story and the development of Reach, read Making firearm safety beautiful.
About Vara Safety:
Incorporated in August 2017 and located in upper New York State, Vara Safety is a company dedicated to bringing the latest biometric technology to firearms safety. The first product is Reach, a patented biometric handgun safe that allows the user to simultaneously unlock the firearm using a fingerprint reader while drawing the handgun in a ready and safe position. It will be available to consumers in the summer of 2019. www.varasafety.com