Recently I had to fix a toy for the new addition in the family. It was a car seat toy. The toy is suppose to play a song when you push the dog’s nose. We’ve had this toy for a few years and all it needed was a new battery. I made a short video going through what I needed to do to change the battery.
I hate tamper proof screws. The only point to them is to either sell more tools, or force people to throw stuff out. They don’t keep people out. People who want to get in will get in, and people who don’t want to will not. And keeping people out of products so they can’t change batteries doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Then there is the problem of end of life. How many people would just chuck this item into the garbage?
End users or consumers should always be able to remove and replace batteries without the need for specialty tools so they can remove the batteries before they dispose of the device, or prolong the life of the device. Why is this such a big deal? Devices with non removable batteries cannot be automatically processed by waste recycling facilities (because these facilities grind up the entire device – which would cause major issues with batteries). This forces these types of devices to be shipped overseas where low cost labour disassembles them. Often kids are doing this work, and the waste is not disposed of properly.
Apple is one major manufacturer that insists on fully enclosed non removable batteries. This is terrible, but it helps their agenda: sell more devices or sell more over priced service. Numerous reasons are given for built in batteries in small electronic devices, but in reality they don’t have any merit. I have a inexpensive ($100) Android phone with a removable battery and it works great. And if the battery needs to be replaced, I don’t even need any tools to replace it. And when the device fails I can remove the battery and send them to appropriate recycling facilities, instead of across the globe.
We really have to stop designing for the dump and quickest assembly, and start designing for service and longevity.