Growing panes: The rise of smart glass and how it could kill off your curtains
Wise ovens are currently a thing, as are intelligent beds, attached doorbells, along with internet-enabled fridges. Everything, it appears, is now”smart” and”connected” — and the windows at your house or workplace could be struck with the intelligent stick too.
The electrochromic smart-tinting glass essentially eliminates the requirement for blinds or curtains, as the glass automatically dims and brightens to suit the outdoors light states — this is beneficial in controlling an area’s ambiance and warmth, while also reducing a building’s energy needs. Users may also manually control the tint settings through wall switches, mobile apps, and if recent tests go according to plan, your voice.
The glass isn’t designed purely to be used on exterior facades, however. It may be used anywhere inside a building so that light from one area can travel through to other rooms when needed, or be (partially) obstructed in case the situation requires it.
“In exterior locations, the glass can limit glare from the dark state with no blinds while allowing clear vision in the crystal clear state. In interior locations, we’re utilizing this for variable privacy in seminar rooms”
The concept behind smart glass is nothing fresh, and there have been many different versions of the technology through time, some less smart than many others. Thermochromic glass essentially utilizes heat from sunlight to encircle the windows the thicker it is, the darker space becomes, allowing properties to regulate their own heat. But everything is automatic and there’s no manual control.Then there are liquid crystal clear windows, which use technologies similar to that utilized in several digital wristwatches. A thin layer of liquid crystals is set in between two transparent electrical conductors on plastic films, which in turn is sandwiched between 2 layers of glass. The collective term for this kind of engineering is PDLC, or”polymer-dispersed liquid crystal,” and it uses electrical voltage to control the transparency — however, a constant power supply is required for complete transparency, everywhere else the glass turns translucent. The level of translucence is dependent upon the voltage applied, along with the technologies is mainly utilized to enhance privacy inside, for example in conference rooms or on shower doors.
The application of electrochromic smart glass in business surroundings is an obvious one, given that lots of modern office blocks are assembled almost entirely of glass. With hundreds or even thousands of folks working daily and often into the night, maximizing indoor lighting and temperatures, rather than relying on the costly air conditioning or electrical lights, could save companies big bucks in the long run.
“The biggest challenge we face for much more widespread adoption is that a construction and building industry that’s slow to adapt to change,. “For the most part, the ecosystem of important stakeholders from the industry — building-owners, programmers, and architects — is traditionally used to standard clear glass, and see dynamic glass technology as a luxury rather than an essential quality that conveys valuable advantages. However, with dynamic glass, seeing — and experiencing — is believing.
Twenty years from now, your children or grandchildren might very well ask you”Did people actually used to drape large pieces of fabric over their windows to help keep the light out?”