What is smart glass?
In a world of "smart" phones, thermostats, ovens and just about every household appliance why not add glass to the mix.
I was first introduced to smart glass through a YouTube video that showed a conference room made of glass go from complete clear transparency to opaque within the flip of a switch. Yes, I said within the flip of a switch.
Then I went to a conference in Vegas and stayed in a hotel room that had a shower with the same technology.
Being that I am in the glass business and haven't ever installed this product for a customer, I was naturally intrigued. This is where my search for the manufacturers and vendors of this so called "smart" glass began.
So far, we have discovered 11 different patent owners of different types of smart glass films and interlayers in laminated glass. I will tag the links to them in the bottom of this article, but I know there will be more that I discover as I research more.
Let's just discuss the few that I feel are strong competitors in the game and will make a lasting impression for years to come.
Ranging from transparent to opaque, transparent to shades of grey and even the option to use as a projection screen.
An American company out of California created Halio by Kinestral; an advanced natural light management system. Halio technology is laminated on to glass to prevent 99.9% visble light and in its transparent state it allows for 70% visible light transmission.
Halio technology even synchs with voice by integrating with Amazon Alexa, Apple Home Pod and the other leading voice systems.
Can you imagine walking in to your home or office and saying, "Alexa, tint windows behind the couch." Leaving all the other windows clear but keeping the glare off of you while you enjoy reading and drinking a cup of coffee.
Glass Apps is another leader if not the leader in the "smart" glass industry. The big differintiator being the shade of color, glass apps is a shade of white with option to be completely opaque.
The technology can be put in the laminate inside the glass, on a film or even an adhesive. Their finished smart glass and film is also a novel platform for projection and touchscreen effects that can transform store windows, showrooms and any glass surface into dramatic video displays.
Companies such as Disney, Google, Microsoft and many others have utilized their unique product to improve the design options of their spaces.
What an amazing product with almost limitless possibilities.
If you think about the added window accessories you buy for windows at home or in the office such as solar screens, blinds, shades and curtains. The price of the upfront cost of "smart" glass might be more but the end cost should be less after ellimaniting the need for window coverings.
Not to mention the energy efficiency savings. Halio can be programmed to respond to weather, time and the sun's position during the day.
Smart glass is instant privacy at its finest.
This is a topic I'm really fond of at the moment and truly feel we start to see it more and more often in future of design-build.
If you have any questions shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org