By Juha Liettyä
We have all gotten used to the idea of homes that are getting ever more intelligent. The next step in smart living is to equip our homes with smart switchable windows that can adapt to the surrounding environment – changing from transparent to opaque, enhancing privacy and even generating energy.
Imagine the scene: It’s 11:00 am. A high-rise apartment tower downtown in a big, always-bustling city. Despite floor-to-ceiling glass windows, the room is lit with mild, warm light. There is no extra heat or glare intruding from the outside. No noise. Just the perfect view, a feeling of comfort, privacy – and total control.
This is that same modern apartment where everything seems to be “smart”. The high-tech coffee machine wakes up its owner with the aroma of a freshly brewed carafe. Upscale mirrors provide the latest traffic reports. The smart fridge is capable of self-ordering products. And here come the windows – the smart quintessence of an enlightened home design.
Demand for smart glass is growing fast
The potential market for smart glass is huge. According to a recent Grand View Research report, the global smart glass market was valued at USD 3,224 million in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 9,983 million by 2025 – growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 15.2% from 2017 to 2025.
Such megatrends as environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, safety, urbanization and optimized lifecycle performance, to name just a few, are key drivers propelling this growth.
Although the transition towards smart glass seemed slow only a few years ago, it’s picking up pace. This is thanks to the fact that the technology is now complete and ready to sell, there are more suppliers in the market making the products available, and the cost of manufacturing has come down.
In practical terms, architects interested in energy consciousness or those looking for something new are the ones who have started to specify smart glass for their projects. Likewise, builders are beginning to gain confidence in the benefits and are specifying smart glass primarily for office or commercial towers, where they see the greatest financial opportunities.