Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

RFID is the wireless use of radio frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. RFID-based token technologies establish a communication channel between the firearm and the token that then deactivates a blocking mechanism. An example of RFID technology is the key fob that is used to unlock and start a car.

RFID Gun and Token

In a user-unique RFID gun, only the authorized user can fire the weapon. A radio chip responsible for gun access is placed in the gun’s handle and a corresponding chip is placed on a watch, ring, or bracelet, or even implanted in an authorized user’s hand. If the two chips are not within inches of each other, the trigger will not unlock. It is possible to release the safety mechanism via the radio-controlled device (i.e., watch) activated by means of a PIN code. As soon as the gun loses radio contact with the watch—e.g. if it is knocked out of the shooter’s hand, lost, or stolen.—it automatically deactivates itself.

Short-range RFID chips—also called passive RFID chips—do not require the use of a battery because they are powered by electromagnetic induction (though the gun or safe’s blocking mechanism may be battery powered). RFID chips are not affected by rain or mud and can be worn under gloves, making them ideal for police officers, who could incorporate a ring or bracelet under their gloves as part of their uniform.