Oh, what a difference a year makes. Well, a year and a demo. That's what investors got yesterday when TASER International (Nasdaq: TASR ) opened up its annual conference to media for the first time.
Among the highlights: a TASER-wielding robot patrolman, built in concert with Rule Breakers pick iRobot (Nasdaq: IRBT ) ; the still-in-development XREP shotgun shell; and a variation of the buzzword-compliant T-RAD, which, when not evoking images of a shotgun-wielding Governator, is a rather flimsy-looking tripod that houses multiple TASER pistols.
Of course, we investors already knew about the iRobot partnership. The XREP demo isn't a shocker (sorry) either. But the new T-RAD, known as Shockwave, is brand-spanking-new. And if it can't be easily taken out with a bowling ball, as one of our rebellious subscribers quipped on the Rule Breakers discussion board for TASER, I see some promise in the design.
At first, though, it seems old-school. Shockwave, you see, is a six-shooter. It fires six TASER pistols at once to incapacitate multiple targets. Think of it as TASER's answer to a machine-gun nest, which, according to management, makes the device ideal for military use. (TASER plans to have Shockwave in the field in 2008.)
I'd agree. And I'm encouraged, because the military is already buying TASER devices. In June, one of the company's government distributors booked an order for 2,400 X26 pistols, worth nearly $2.9 million by my math. TASER says it has a five-year contract with the military that could bring in $22.8 million over the life of the deal.
Robots. Shotguns. Soldiers. It all sounds so sci-fi. But this is no fantasy. TASER really is finding new ways to get its devices in the hands of users. For investors, who've already enjoyed a double over the past year, there's no better news than that.
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers, who is ranked No. 2,933 out of more than 60,000 participants in our Motley Fool CAPS investor intelligence database, once owned a fly-zapper. Turns out it was more messy than entertaining. Tim didn't own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out his profile and his blog. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy says you have the right to get rich.