We've been impressed with the new fingerprint-locking feature on the iPhone 5s lately, but there are many other items aside from your smartphone data that could use the extra security as well. Ryan Hyde recently designed a heavy-duty gun safe that ditches the usual key and combination locks in favor of a more protective electronic one. Once a firearm is secured safely inside, gun owners can unlock the Gun Box with an RFID-equipped bracelet (or ring), via a fingerprint scan, or a combination of the two.

The safe's outer shell is made from a die-cast aluminum alloy that's comparable to the type used in aircraft, and the inside measures 8.9 x 6.5 x 1.5 in (22.5 x 16.5 x 3.8 cm) – plenty of room for a single handgun or other small objects. The box has been measured for a tensile strength of 24,000 psi and a melting temperature of over 1,000° F (538° C), so you won't have to worry about anything inside being damaged in a fire or accident. The hinges are also tucked away inside the case and the safe has a pry-resistant lap joint to prevent anyone from breaking into it.

The locking mechanism uses motorized servos rather than magnets, which allows the safe to open at any angle or orientation, so it can be mounted on a wall or underneath a desk if needed. While most people will likely keep the safe plugged in at all times, it does include a 1350 mAh battery backup, which the developers claim can maintain enough power for operation away from a wall outlet for several weeks.

The box can be programmed for multiple users, and Hyde made sure to give it a sleek design that wouldn't stand out too much in most homes. The back of the safe also features a pair of USB ports for charging devices as well as a port for a Kensington lock and cable, so it can be secured to a piece of furniture if needed.

For some added security, the Gun Box incorporates an accelerometer and will send an alert to your smartphone if it's moved or tampered with. Users can pay an additional fee to monitor its location through GPS at all times. The system can even be programmed to notify gun owners if the box fails to "check in" with the GPS tracker periodically, which could indicate an attempt to jam the signal.

Hyde and his development team are now running a crowd-funding campaign to produce the first batch of Gun Boxes and have begun taking pre-orders through Indiegogo. The Premier version includes all features and costs US$390, but the developers are also offering a model without the GPS tracking capabilities for $225 and another that opens via RFID only for $180. The Gun Box is expected to ship in December of this year.

Check out the video below to see some of the Gun Box's features in action.

Sources: The Gun Box, Indiegogo