Bought my first and very own Smartag not too long ago. Of course, like most (if not all) new Smartag users, we've learned that this contraption, although it provides a more convenient way to leech out our pennies to the myriad thugs (sorry) tolls on our roads, it also provides a cause for concern. While the Smartag is a vice to our bank accounts, it beefs up the bank accounts of the many agents of vices, namely burglars.
You see, my dad got his car window bashed into (on a night he forgot to lock his car) and his Smartag stolen. Having gotten used to it, he unthinkingly bought another. Now, he has to constantly remind himself to keep the thing hidden from burglars but most of the time, the thing keeps itself 'hidden' from him, seconds before he hit the toll barrier.
But I've seen these 'Smartags' before in Australia. It's a much smaller contraption, permanently etched onto the top of car windscreens, hidden away from opportunistic eyes. So why can't we have that here? It was then I realized, that our very own 'Smartag' might fall on a different marketing plan. Allow me to interest you in my assumed findings.
The (mock) Smartag business plan
Marketed Purpose: To be of convenience to unfortunate motorists who use motorways with tolls
Real Purpose: To maximize on profits
Marketed Design: Sleek, futuristic and convenient
Real Purpose of Design: Absolutely clumsy looking and huge so that motorists will find it hard placing it in their vehicle, hence, burglars will be able to easily spot it and hopefully, steal it. Then, the burglary victims will be forced to buy a new Smartag, thus, complying to our Real Purpose: To maximize on profits.
If these victims attempt to hide their Smartags, they will soon realize that the Smartag is not friendly to most door pockets, seat pockets and other storage compartments of their vehicle. Placing the Smartag in glove compartments is not encourage because motorists are forced to look for it when they are approaching tolls. Also, the sleek design of Smartag has no rubber or non-slip panels, which stops the effects of sliding.
So, in order to reinforce the initial Real Purpose, a holder is provided (FOR FREE) and instructions is provided to place the contraption in the most obvious location; on the windscreen. With that, this method will, again, further reinforce the statements made in the first paragraph of Real Purpose of Design.
Safety concerns (classified): Due to various reports, the bulky, heavy and detached Smartags may have caused injuries to motorists during road accidents as debris or blunt trauma hazards, upon impact. However, without sufficient proof of this, even though the possibility of such cases occurring is high, the makers of Smartags have decided to forego this safety issue, in line with the nation's most used motto by services providers - if there's nothings wrong, don't fix it even though you know that something is going to go wrong.