Smart or Switchable Glass Applications Continue to Expand

Smart Glass

Smart Glass is also known as Switchable glass. It is a kind of glass which changes its light transmission properties when provided with stimulus such as light, voltage or heat. In its application to windows, smart glass is also referred as ‘Smart windows’ which can control the amount of light passing through them. When activated, the glass changes from transparent to translucent, blocking some or all wavelengths of light. In this way, a chromogenic smart window responds to heat, light and voltage.

Smart Glass from its early introduction in 1986, has evolved enormously and witnessed a commercialization after 2000. Traditionally, applications of Smart Glass were limited to a few experimental projects but now potential applications of Smart Glass has reached various sectors such as; architectural, transportation, power generation (solar) and electronics & others.

The architectural segment is recognized as a major market for smart glass. Due to its ability to allow or block the light and (thereby heat), smart glass has been increasingly used in commercial and residential buildings in the form of windows, doors, sky lights, partitions and so on. In addition, transportation sector (automotive, bus/rail, aerospace, marine) is another significant market which holds the potential for growth, in terms of demand, for smart glass. Adoption of “smart windows” in aviation sector is started by Boeing Company. This aviation player used smart windows in 787 Dreamliner aircraft to offer passengers customize luxurious experience. In order to further analyze the integration of smart windows in Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, a case study based on the same is included in this report.

The technological development is expected to lead the growth of smart glass in various commercial applications. Smart glass technologies covered in this report are, Thermochromic, Suspended particle device (SPD), Electrochromic (EC), Liquid crystal (LC)/ Polymer dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC), Photochromic and so on. In addition to this, the latest, emerging smart glass technology ‘Micro blinds’ are analyzed.

It is expected that in the coming years, healthcare sector will adopt smart glass products in order to achieve healthy and natural ambience in cost efficient manner. Need of energy efficient products, presence of key industry players will continue to be the driving factors for making Americas and Europe as the major market places for smart glass. Also, APAC and RoW are expected to show rapid growth in coming years due to the presence of developing economies such as China and India.

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