What are Switchable Smart Glass Windows?
Smart Window, Switchable Smart Glass Windows or even Switchable Windows are all broad terms used to describe a PDLC Switchable product installed in a window application. As you may appreciate, this doesn’t really narrow much down with all the Switchable product variants available and the numerous potential window applications they can be used for. Widely speaking, Switchable Glass is used in a window application for privacy requirements, as privacy is often an issue with transparent glass windows that can easily be seen through – as is the traditional point of windows. Conventionally, window privacy has been dealt with using the likes of blinds and curtains, all bringing their own set of limitations and challenges. Switchable Smart Glass, on the other hand, offers a far superior solution to privacy, often being described as ‘The Future of Window Privacy’.
Smart Window helps to open up worlds of possibilities when it comes to creative interior design that can be practical, functional and stylish. With applications ranging from incredible rear projection retail window displays to ‘smart home’ innovations that transform your living space, Switchable Smart Glass windows are a versatile and effective solution to a range of needs.
How does Smart Window Work?
Smart Window work in the same way to most of our products, which function by integrating a PDLC layer into the product that covers the glass surface. Unlike our competitors, this coating covers the surface edge to edge with no gap via a proprietary manufacturing process developed exclusively by us. The various ways in which the PDLC coating is bonded varies from product to product depending on the level of layer protection needed, with some products encasing it inside the glass product, such as with our Switchable Smart Glass Double Glazed Units, whereas other products are manufactured by coating the layer down directly onto the glass. This layer is then wired up to a power source, which can vary from mains power to battery power depending on the requirements, allowing the product to change its state from frosted to clear on command via an activation method of the customer’s preference. When an electrical current is sent through the film, it changes from frosted to clear instantly as the crystals in the PDLC layer polarise, allowing more light to penetrate the surface as the glass changes to transparent.
Switchable window Advantage:
Due to the overwhelming benefits seen with Smart Glass DGUs, the window applications it can be used for are immense, including but not limited to External Smart Glass Windows, Smart Glass Bi-Fold Doors and even Smart Glass Skylights. In fact, most external window applications can accommodate Smart Glass DGUs to their benefit as the most appropriate Smart Glass product for the application.
Toughened Switchable Glass is, on the other hand, appropriate for internal window applications. This product, which consists of toughened glass with a PDLC layer bonded directly to the surface, is one of the cheaper options from us, but its uses are exclusively limited to internal applications. Internal windows are indeed a common application of Switchable Smart Glass and as such, Toughened Smart Glass is by no means an unpopular product. However, even its internal uses are limited to dry environments that do not demand extra safety compliance. It also can leave the PDLC layer exposed to physical damage, which could pose a potential risk to the product. Toughened Smart Glass is a popular best-selling product, but its applications in a window application are restricted due to its limitations.
Switchable Smart Glass Window Case:
1. Switchable Smart Glass Window in Healthcare
The PDLC layer protection makes it extremely easy to maintain, allowing you to clean it as you would any other glass and making it perfect for applications involving children, healthcare, or any situation where a high level of cleanliness is not only important but difficult to achieve. Laminate Switchable Smart Glass also offers other advantages over Toughened Switchable Glass, specifically its sound insulating properties, which naturally aren’t as good as DGUs, but due to composition of Laminate Smart Glass, are far superior to the sound insulating properties of Toughened Smart Glass; a significant advantage for a privacy product.
2. Switchable Smart Glass in Retail Store
Smart Windows offer an impressive way to display items and launch new products or offers in-store. By keeping the items behind a Toughened Smart Glass window, retail stores have come up with ingenious ways to create a customer journey by unveiling their featured products or craft, operating the Smart Glass via a timer, button, motion sensors or even voice commands. Coupled with Pro Display’s projection expertise, we are able to offer these Smart Glass Windows as interactive projection screens as well, allowing the store to build an immersive and effective product display that wows. However, whilst Toughened Switchable Glass is indeed used to form the foundations of this product, there are additional complex manufacturing processes involved in creating Interactive Switchable Smart Glass Projection Screens, naturally making that particular product more expensive than standard Toughened Smart Glass.