By John Voket
I have reported back to you regularly over the years as "smart" technology has been developing. We've talked about "smart homes," "smart appliances," "smart lighting," even "smart" plumbing fixtures.
So it's natural to expand our scope to include "smart glass." This technology has been around for years in commercial locations, but the move to smart glass technology for the home is catching on and finding many practical and/or unique cosmetic applications.
According to one manufacturer - Miami-based DashDoor - this technology switches the glass from transparent to an opaque translucent state with the simple flip of a switch, tap of an app, or wave of a hand. The technology makes available a dynamic space that can be both private or open.
Smart glass works like this: when power is off, the liquid crystal molecules in the glazing material are randomly oriented and will scatter incidental light. This renders a switchable privacy glass panel opaque.
When an electric current is applied, the liquid crystal molecules line up, the incidental light passes through, and the privacy glass becomes clear. Privacy glass is laminated with material within that responds to electrical current.
Innovative Glass Corp., in Plainville, N.Y. had one client choose electronic privacy glass for their entire master suite and bathroom. They ordered finished doors and windows with smart privacy glass complete with decorative grills.
The floor to ceiling bathroom privacy windows next to their bathtub and a full wall, including French doors in their walk in glass shower leading to their balcony, all have glass that fogs up at the touch of a button.
You can even get switchable privacy glass panels segmented, allowing for the top portion of the glass to be controlled independently from the bottom portion for extra flexibility.
The company's eGlass gives homeowners the ability to instantly change the state of their glass from clear, to tint, to private at the touch of a button or automatically.
Another 'Innovative' client used smart Privacy Glass in a decorative set of Simpson Doors. The switchable privacy glass doors remains in the private position until the homeowner chooses to make his glass clear, allowing full vision in and out of the front entrance way.
Even when the panels are private, light is still able to pass through the switchable glass. See more pictures and projects at innovativeglasscorp.com.