Tag Archives: rfid

The Only Gun The NRA Doesn’t Like

Meet the Armatix iP1. 22 LR calibre semiautomatic with a 10 round magazine. What’s not to like? How about the the RFID wristwatch that only allows the wearer to fire the gun?

Back in 2002, New Jersey passed a law mandating that all guns sold in the state had to have lockout technology built in, three years after such a gun went on sale somewhere in the United States. The gun has gone on sale &emdash; albeit very briefly &emdash; twice, once in Los Angeles, and then again in Rockville, Maryland (a place that it is strongly advised that one to not return to). Both stores stopped selling the guns after receiving death threats. Not only that, but the Republican Attorney General of New Jersey is refusing the certify that the gun was sold, and active the law.

Instead of “promoting freedom” to own the gun one chooses, the NRA is actively campaigning against the sell of a particular firearm, because the RFID locks would increase manufacturing costs. Why do they care about this? Because the NRA gets significant amounts of funding from gun manufacturers.

Mothballing an Assembly Line

The last F-22 Raptor will roll off the assembly line in Marietta, Georgia next year. While there are no plans to restart the line, the existing 184 planes are expected to be in service until 2040. Over the next 30 years, the planes will be repeatedly upgraded and overhauled. In order to smooth the process, the Air Force ordered Lockheed to place the tools, dies, and other equipment needed in manufacturing into storage.

As the last plane moves through the line, workers will disassemble and crate each machine. Each crate gets labeled with an RFID tag indicating its contents, and then placed in shipping container, and shipped off to the Sierra Army Depot for storage.

However, Lockheed is going a step further. Not only are they archiving all the material and technical plans needed to make a Raptor, they’re also attempting to record all the unwritten knowledge that the assembly workers have learned in their years of building these planes. Archivists are filming, photographing, and interviewing workers performing their jobs. All this knowledge will then compiled into what Lockheed terms a “smart book.” Lockheed hopes that this record will help preserve some of the institutional memory about the Raptor, especially since Lockheed claims to have reduced the manufacturing time of a single plane by a third since production started eight years ago.

Curiosity Cabinet


Jon Stam has designed an RFID curiosity cabinet. The cabinet is lined on both sides with drawers and boxes. The drawers contain objects, while the boxes contain a USB memory stick and an RFID chip. Placing the box near an RFID reader, causes the digital content to be displayed.

matandme has more photos info about this. DesignGuide.tv interview with Jon showing the cabinet off is after the jump.

The thing that drew me to this cabinet was the clean lines of it. When I first saw this, I had no idea it was RFID enabled. I particularly like the pulls on the drawers, or more precisely the lack of them. Many times when there’s pull-less drawers, the outer panel is beveled for fingers to. In his design the pull is simply the main drawer face, with a second panel inset slightly inside to completely close of the drawer when it’s closed.

One thing I don’t like about his design is that the digital curios are separate from the physical curios. I’m don’t think that distinction needs to be made. Digital objects don’t completely replace physical objects, (recordings, both audio and visual, excepted) but are complimenting them. For instance, when I traveled to Beijing, all my photos were digital, but those aren’t my only souvenirs. I have a Mao Book, a wad of cash, receipts, and tickets. It’s this collection, both physical and digital that commemorate my trip. It seems that a cabinet that attempts to recognize this dual nature of modern memories, should completely integrate them, rather than treat them as different things. If the each drawer contained the digital memories associated with the physical object contained in it, then this would be the case.

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