We now have smart cars, smart appliances, smart beds, smart doorbells, smart toilets, and yes, even smart glass windows. Well, hold on to your curtains, Batman, because smart glass windows are nothing short of amazing. You can ditch your curtains altogether. Since smart glass goes from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button, you won’t be needing them anymore.
Smart glass windows are intelligent windows that are free of unwanted heat and glare in their dark state without limiting vision in their clear state. The underlying technology behind them is Thermochromic glass, which uses sunlight to tint the windows. The hotter it is outside, the darker they’ll become. But modern glass has taken that idea indoors, going several steps further with liquid crystal windows. This is the technology similar to that in digital wristwatches. The smart glass windows are programed by the user with a switch, remote, or app through Wi-Fi, electric, or an alternate power source.
Light blocking, self-tinting windows were created by two California companies to cut down on power costs in office buildings, but they’re no longer limited to outdoor structures. Office interiors use smart windows to create sleek, modern glass conference rooms that offer full privacy at the flip of a switch. Some European airlines have opted for smart glass windows, giving their passengers more control and saving flight attendants time between flights. Aviation, marine, and auto manufacturers have been experimenting with smart glass to reduce reflections and glare coming into the cockpit or driver’s seat.
Smart windows are used in homes for beautiful walls and skylights without risking UV exposure or overheating. Providing the correct amount of light, and opening buildings and homes to nature creates a more productive, peaceful atmosphere. So, you really can live in a glasshouse.
Smart glass shower doors are in demand, as a homeowner can leave the bathroom glass open and transparent until use.
The cost of this technology isn't cheap. Smart glass windows can cost up to 50% more than regular windows. However, they can shave 20% off your monthly electric bill, and they qualify for tax credits. Over time, these windows most certainly pay for themselves, especially if you live in a warmer climate. A small but significant additional bonus: With smart glass windows, there are no annoying treatments or blinds for the cat to shred, bend or break. Now, if only they could make a Christmas tree the same way.