The term ‘Smart Glass’, also known as intelligent glass, switchable glass, smart or switchable windows, represents a new technology enabling glass properties changes in accordance with external conditions like temperature, light, pressure or electricity.
Thus, for example, a well-known automotive supplier Continental presented its ‘Intelligent Glass Control’ at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this year. The technology represents special films which are inserted into the glass that allow changing the transparency through electric control signals.
But that’s just the beginning. Soon the innovation is expected to become even smarter.
In order to use smart glass as an interface, interactive applications will be installed into it. This option makes the technology especially useful for smart phones, smart buildings and cars.
Smart glass will help to reduce energy consumption caused by heating or cooling system in cars. If required, the sunlight can be blocked or let through.
It will be possible to dim the vehicle window automatically or at the touch of the bottom. Moreover, due to the smart glass technology even in the night the panoramic sunroof will be able to provide excellent light similar to daylight.
Nanotechnologies will make car windows water proof and stain resistant.
Currently only the top car manufacturers like BMW or Mercedes offer vehicles having smart windows. But in the coming future, standard car models are also expected to come up with the new technology.
Smart Glass for easy and safe car driving
The intelligent glass is ideal as a driving assistance and a safety feature. The field of vision in cars will vary according to the driving conditions. For example, the images made by several cameras installed in the car will be projected to the side windows, eliminating blind spots and helping driver while parking.
Measuring devices in windscreen are expected to avoid clouding. Temperature and humidity sensors will regulate car heater to prevent windscreens fogging up. Forget bad visibility in winter! In several years all the relevant information will be presented to a driver on the electro-luminescent glass. Traffic signs, warning notices will appear on the windscreen enabling more safety on roads.
Furthermore, smart glass will also be able to track physiological activities of car drivers providing valuable assistance in order to prevent driving errors, for example, via micro sleep alarm.
A futuristic car from a science fiction movie is becoming a reality
Smart glass technology will provide a new way of interaction between car and environment. Different information will be presented not only on the front window, but on every other glass surface of a car due to the smart technology. While driving the car passengers will be entertained by video or internet websites shown on the side windows in the rear of the vehicle.
Due to the eye-tracking and satellite navigation systems all the relevant information about the surrounding including buildings, people, cars, etc. will be presented to the passengers.
Smart glass has a truly big future. Because of the increasing demand of the “green” energy solutions, the high-tech innovation has a great potential to expand and become a standard in the coming years. One thing is clear: smart glass provides us with one more step to the comfortable and sustainable future.
Read more about the future of connected cars.