Do you remember a company by the name Efkon Asia Sdn. Bhd.? They are the Austrian company which provided the technology for the SmartTag device until the latter’s sale was discontinued by Touch ‘n Go to focus on the use of RFID technology.
For their own reasons, there were people who didn’t take to the news well. The good thing is, Efkon kept the technology open for others, which is how Sigma Technology Sdn. Bhd. came with the MaxTag device. It’s basically the same device with the same technology as SmartTag, but sold by a different company. More than 1,500 MaxTag devices have been sold within four days of it being sold.
Now, Efkon has also introduced their own infra-red tag device with the name E-Tag. Unlike MaxTag which is only available via online platforms such as Lazada and 11street, E-Tag can be purchased at offline channels such as accessories shops and selected Shell stations.
Its price is similar to MaxTag’s RM138.
The key question is how does the newer MaxTag and E-Tag differ from the old SmartTag? According to Efkon Asia director Helmuth Blasch, the latest generation of these SmartTag- compatible devices offer superior functionality, portability, reliability, and cost-efficiency.
“Both E-TAG and MaxTAG feature new microprocessors and enhanced display for even better performance and reliability. These proven Infra-Red TAG devices provide peace of mind to users by providing secure transactions with the exact toll amount paid immediately visible. Most importantly, there is no possibility of cloning and risk of losing control of your finances through incorrect deductions,” he said.
“Infra-Red TAG devices are cost-effective solutions for frequent highway users. Each device is robustly-built with a high-impact resistant casing. As it can be kept inside a vehicle and not subject to external environment conditions and vandalism, one can easily last 15 years or more,” he added.
At the launch and media briefing, Blasch also shared case studies from Germany and Netherlands on successful multi-lane traffic free-flow systems using the company’s Infra-Red DSRC (Dedicated Short-Range Communication) System
“In Germany, the Nationwide Truck Tolling System that Efkon installed on all highways in a Multi-Lane Free Flow (MLFF) configuration has proven to be highly effective, catering to more than two million trucks travelling at up to 100kph. In the Netherlands’ Westerschelde Tunnel, an initial plan to replace the Infra-Red System with RFID was scrapped after it was proven difficult to accurately direct microwaves at specific stickers, especially with the presence of large reflective metal surfaces such as tankers and containers nearby,” he said.
Moving forward, Efkon plans to make its built-in infra-red devices, now found on certain locally-assembled car models in the market, available as another convenient option for consumers.