Here at Killer Apps we are always on the lookout for new, um, killer apps, and this year we saw a lot. Here's a list of five of the most interesting weapons that came to our attention in 2012. These systems either were invented in the last year or achieved a significant milestone on the road to becoming operational weapons. Look out, 2013.
First up: the printed gun. While today's 3D printers can only print guns capable of firing six shots before they fall apart, who knows there this technology will be in five or 10 years and what it will mean for worldwide conflict if anyone can print an assault rifle. As we reported recently, the U.S. military is already looking at 3D printing as a way of reducing the amount of gear carried by troops. While some 3D printer manufacturers are cracking down on customers who try to build weapons with its devices, the cat is already out of the bag. Gun enthusiasts have already set up an alternate website hosting instructions -- blueprints? -- for making guns via 3D printers.