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Smart Glass: The Next Generation Glass Technology

Posted Date: Mar 25, 2022

Smart glass technology is a fairly new concept in home decor and architecture but it has taken the world by storm in recent years. If you are planning on equipping your home or office with smart glass but first trying to learn more about them then here’s a small guide that will help you out.

What is Smart Glass?

Smart glass or switchable glass is a type of glass whose light transmission properties can be controlled by applying electricity, heat or light across it. Smart glasses are made by placing a smart film or a switchable film between two layers of glass creating a sandwich. There are two primary types of smart glasses available in the market: Active and Passive smart glasses. Active smart glasses require an electric charge to change their appearance while Passive smart glasses do not require it to change appearance. Although both types come under smart glass the term smart glass mainly refers to active smart glass technology which uses electricity to change the appearance or functionality of the glass. The most commonly used active smart glasses are:

  • Electrochromic

  • Electrochromic glasses require a burst of electricity to change their transparency thus controlling the heat and light which can pass through. Once the glass changes its opacity, no electricity is required to maintain it.

  • Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal

  • In Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal glass when no electricity is applied, the randomly arranged liquid crystals scatter the light that’s incident on them. Once electricity is applied to the glass, the liquid crystals align themselves properly thus letting the light pass through.

  • Suspended Particle Device

  • Suspended Particle Devices use nanoscale particles suspended in liquid to block the incident light. When no voltage is applied, the particles are randomly arranged to block and absorb light. After a voltage is applied the particles begin to align thus letting the light pass through.

  • Micro-blinds

  • Micro-blinds control the amount of light passing through them depending upon the voltage applied to it. They require a constant supply of electricity to keep blocking the incoming light, once the supply of electricity is cut off the glass becomes transparent and allows light to pass through.

What are its applications?

Smart glass or switchable glasses have numerous applications but here are some of the most popular applications in the home and office design department.

  • Walls and Partition

  • Walls and partitions are made from smart glasses which turn opaque or translucent depending on the flick of a switch.

  • Skylights

  • Equip your skylights with smart glass and control the light coming inside for greater privacy as well as to protect your furniture from harmful UV rays of the sun.

  • Windows

  • Smart glasses have made curtains and blinds obsolete, they turn opaque with the push of a button and provide increased privacy as well as reduce the glare of the sun.

Major benefits of using Smart Glass

There are numerous benefits associated with equipping your home or office with smart glasses and some of the benefits are mentioned below.

  • Reduces glare

  • One of the major benefits of using smart glass technology is its ability to reduce the glare of the sun by switching from transparent to opaque with just the push of a button.

  • Blocks harmful UV rays

  • Smart glasses block the harmful UV rays of the sun and as a result, it not only protects your skin but also prevents the discolouration of the furniture and fabric that sits close to the windows.

  • Increased privacy

  • Switchable glass’ property of turning opaque almost instantaneously makes it a good choice for places where privacy is required like conference halls, bedrooms, etc. In Tokyo, there are some toilets with smart glass doors and walls that turn opaque when the toilet is in use.

  • Better aesthetics

  • By equipping your office with switchable glasses, you are not only improving the aesthetics of the office but also creating a positive environment in your office which in turn helps in elevating the mood of your client as well as employees.

After reading this article, you are now ready to equip your home or office with smart glass and enjoy the benefits associated with them.

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