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What Is RFID and Why Use It?

A classic combination lock safe has been a staple in the industry for a century. Many consumers might be thinking, why change something that isn’t “broken”? What you might not know is that RFID technology dates back to the 1940s. It became popularized in the 70s and is now commercially widespread.

If you’ve ever used a keycard to get into your office building or a keyfob to walk into your apartment’s garage, you’ve likely used an RFID device. But what exactly is RFID technology, and how does it work?

What Is RFID?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. This technology uses radio waves to identify objects or people. Simply put, a device, in this case, your Konig Safe, reads the information contained in your “tag” or device (like a keyfob, sticker, or ring), which allows for the action to take place.

RFID systems can use a wide range of radio frequencies, depending on how short or long the transmission must range. In the case of a safe, the system uses a lower frequency, which means the transmission range is shorter, between a few inches.

What Are RFID Tags?

If you’re using a tag, like a keyfob or a sticker, to open your device, three major components are built within it to make it work with ease every time.

  • Microchip
  • Antenna
  • Substrate

The microchip within the tag acts to store and process information. As RFID uses frequencies to communicate with other system elements, the microchip acts to modulate and demodulate those frequencies. The antenna works to allow any RFID tag to transmit and receive that frequency signal.

Are All RFID Tags the Same?

That’s a great question! No, not all RFID tags are the same. There is a difference between a passive and active tag, for instance. Where a passive RFID tag doesn’t have a battery component, an active tag does. Wondering what difference that makes in the long run?

  • Because a passive tag doesn’t have a battery, it uses its antenna to pick up frequencies and electromagnetic waves that are sent out by the reader.

Because these tags have one less component, they tend to be less expensive and smaller in size. Their drawback would be that, because they don’t have a source of power on their own, they do need a bit more time to charge before they can begin transmitting any sort of data. And due to their smaller size, this also affects how much storage capacity they contain.

  • An active tag has a built-in battery, which allows it to transmit any stored data directly to the reader continuously. 

Although active tags are great for situations when they might be heavy frequency interference, their internal batteries do have a shelf-life. However, these batteries can last up to several years.

The Advantages of RFID

There are countless benefits from using RFID to access control things like safes, entrances, and even automatic vehicle identification.

    • Increasing security is a priority. With the use of a personal keyfob or card, it’s not only easier to access your device, but secure.
    • Fast access to important items. Whether you’re using your safe as a place to hold luxury items, important documents, or a weapon, fast access is sometimes a must. By using an RFID, you’re no longer fiddling with combination locks or keys. RFID-based access control allows the safe owner to use several options to open their device.
    • Keep your loved ones protected. If you’re using a safe to hold a weapon, RFID access is more challenging to open than a magnetic lock, which is often the go-to for weapon boxes.


Home safes aren’t a new source of protection for important belongings, and RFID isn’t an entirely new technology. However, utilizing one to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the other is why we continue to use RFID for all of our projects. By utilizing RFID technology, we’re able to offer easy access and top-notch security in a sleek and simple design.