Switchable Smart Glass is the popular term used to describe electronically switchable glass. A small electrical current changes the opacity of the glass pane so that once can control the transparency of the surface. This is “electric frosting” can do via a wall switch, light sensors, movement sensors or remote control. The fact that the methods of control range from basic a dimmer switch and to mass integration into a building’s or vehicle’s intelligent control system mean that there are hundreds of options available to architects and engineers today.
Typically Switchable Smart Glass refers to an entire glass sheet that was manufactured specifically for this purpose but some suppliers offer the cheaper alternative of pasting electronically-controlled laminates into existing surfaces. Such laminates do tend to have a lower lifespan and are not recommended for commercial applications. The term sometimes also applies to when an electro-chromatic function is added to plastic polymers for a similar transparency control.
Building Facades, Skylights, Doors, and Windows
Switchable Smart Glass surfaces have the benefit of controlling both privacy and the amount of light that is allowed into the interior of a building. Allowing more natural light into the building reduces heating requirements in winter and allowing less light into the building in summer reduces glare as well as cooling costs. Apart from lower building energy usage, the switchable glass provides an elegant solution to privacy control. Intuitive Systems can be installed to automatically respond to light levels or individual installations can be controlled by the room occupant.
Hospitality suppliers often use Smart Glass for privacy screen between areas (Bathroom/bedroom), external windows, doors as well as toilet or shower cubicles. Glass partitioning in larger areas such as conference rooms, bars, and restaurants is often installed with flexibility in mind and features such as mobile screens and projection screens commonly provide this flexibility.
Switchable Smart Glass is inherently easier to clean and more hygienic than traditional blinds and will often be used to create modern post-operation and isolation of single-bed units. In such delicate environments, extra care must be taken to protect those who are most vulnerable to infection, patients and healthcare personnel. In examination areas, privacy on demand is a concept that allows practitioners to select opacity levels of the glass walls to suit the needs of the moment.
Some manufacturers can even tailor the units to suit varying healthcare requirements such as fire-rated, x-ray proof and impact-resistant glass.
Marine and Aviation Applications
The glass itself is often too heavy to be considered for wide-scale applications in Marine and Aviation engineering so most “Smart Glass” is actually more accurately described as a “Smart Polymer”. These lightweight cousins of smart glass still operate on the principle of electronically switchable opacity and include windows, partitions, and cabin dividers.
Rail and Car
The two main concerns when installing electric glass partitions on trains, trams cars, and similar ar driver privacy and security.
Kiosks and Promotional Cubicles
A kiosk with controllable opacity allows for dramatic effect whether you are displaying a large product such as a car or are projecting visual media onto the walls of your display. Different portions of such cubicles can be controlled separately and can add an enticing element to launches, information-based displays, and sales points.