Usually built with special materials, smart windows and glasses can alter light transmittance characteristics throughout a particular spectrum. Most of the characteristics of a smart glass or window can be changed depending on various external factors, including ambient conditions and air pressure. The technology makes use of heat or voltage changes and can also allow user inputs that help ensure the required amount of light passes through the glass.
The global smart glass and window market is projected to rise at an optimistic 14.70% CAGR from 2015 to 2021. The global smart glass and window market is expected to reach US$6 bn in 2021, after being evaluated at US$2.2 bn at the end of 2014. As for the companies, nearly 80% of the global smart glass and window market is taken up by the top players. This list includes Japan’s Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd., and Asahi Glass, Co., Ltd., the French Compagnie de Saint-Gobain S.A., and the U.S’s Pleotint LLC, View, Inc., Research Frontiers, Inc.
Growing Acknowledgement of Benefits Propels Demand for Smart Glass and Windows
A growing number of homeowners, business managers, and construction companies are beginning to see the advantages of installing smart glass and windows. It allows them to save energy, maintain privacy, and block incoming harmful radiations. Homes and businesses are particularly inclined towards the global smart glass and window market due to the large-scale energy savings that can be made with optimum utilization of smart glass. Besides these, the global smart glass and window market is massively bolstered by the heavy demand from the global automotive industry. Smart glass and windows bring about higher fuel efficiency in automotive design, since they drastically reduce the need for air conditioning units and thus reduce the amount of fuel burnt in a vehicle’s engine. The automotive industry was the largest applications segment of the global smart glass and window market in 2014.
Modern innovations in the global smart glass and window market have helped key players build smart windows that possess quick switch features for instantly blocking UV light. Most consumers today prefer smart glass and windows over conventional plain and tinted glass. Another critical characteristic of a smart glass is the rapid reduction in heat formation inside a structure or a car, allowing for a fire to dissipate quicker.
Active Smart Glasses Lead Global Smart Glass and Window Market
In terms of technology, the global smart glass and window market is segmented in terms of two types: passive and active. Of these, the global smart glass and window market in 2014 was led by active smart glass, which held more than 80% of the global smart glass and window market at the time. Active glasses are extremely easy to use and have a short response time when it comes to changing the tint quality on the glass. Passive smart glasses are used where human intervention is not required. The largest application segment of passive smart glasses in 2014 was the agriculture sector.
The smart glass and window market finds a larger scope of use in North America and Europe, while other regions such as Asia Pacific are catching up. More than 30% of the revenue accrued by the global smart glass and window market was attributed to sales in the North America region in 2014.