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Is There Any Technology Similar to RuBee for Weapons Tracking?

Posted By RFID Journal, 03.21.2014

Are there any possible competitors to RuBee technology that could be used for this application?

—Name withheld


RuBee technology has some special RF properties that make it work extremely well around metal, and that makes it a good choice for tracking weapons. Passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID has improved to the point where it can be used for weapons tracking. In 2012, for example, we wrote about two gun distributors—American Tactical Imports (ATI) and AmChar Wholesale—that were installing a passive UHF RFID solution from Annapolis, Md., logistics-management software firm AdvanTech Inc., to help them track firearms passing through the single facility in Rochester, N.Y., out of which the two sister companies operate. AdvanTech's solution involves the attachment of EPC Gen 2 RFID tags to guns, and the use of fixed and handheld readers to determine goods' locations as they are received at the Rochester warehouse, as well as when they are shipped to gun shops or other customers (see Firearms Distributors to Track Guns Via RFID).

In deciding which technology to use, companies must consider a number of factors. One is the ability to identify and track weapons consistently within a given environment, while another is the solution's cost. A third issue might be other possible uses for the system. Let's say you are a retailer that sells handguns, shotguns and other weapons. You are using a passive UHF system to track other goods in your supply chain or stores. You would likely choose to use passive UHF to track guns, if your environment allows that (that is, if your cases or storage facilities don't make it impossible to read tags consistently on guns), rather than install a separate RuBee system just for guns. On the other hand, if you are an armory and your main activity is handling weapons, you might choose a RuBee system since its performance is superior to that of passive UHF.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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