Is RFID a useful tool for tracking guns?
Yes, it is. Typically, you would want to be able to read tags on weapons from a distance of a few feet (as opposed to a few inches), so that would mean using either passive UHF or active RFID tags. There are small, durable UHF tags that can be affixed to rifles and handguns. For example, Omni-ID's FIT 200 tag is a small, passive UHF tag that can be attached to or embedded in metal. It operates at a temperature range of -40 degrees to +85 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees to +185 degrees Fahrenheit). The tag has a read range of about 8 feet with a fixed reader and about 4 feet with a handheld. UHF energy bounces off metal, so it can be a challenge to read tags consistently as a weapon is being put into or removed from a weapons case or rack.
I would encourage you to take a look at RuBee technology. RuBee is a low-frequency system that employs active (battery-powered) tags. Unlike passive UHF tags, RuBee tags do not communicate via backscatter. Instead, the tags form an electromagnetic field and can be read easily in an environment containing a lot of metal (see Pantex Nuclear Weapons Plant Adopts RuBee RFID to Track Tools, Chemicals). RuBee systems are provided by Visible Assets.
I hope this answers your question, and I hope to see you at RFID Journal LIVE! 2020.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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