Saturday, September 1, 2012

Electronically tintable dynamic glass

Artful Intelligence: How "Smart Windows" and "Dynamic Glass" Can Save Energy

A manufacturer of auto-tinting windows just nabbed another $10 million in financing. Is this the future of glass?

glass windows
In the future, those glass windows on your office building might also be able to beat IBM's Watson at Jeopardy. That's how smart glass is getting. 
Soladigm, manufacturers of auto-tinting "smart glass," nabbed $10 million in equity financing, building off a recent $30 million round in December.
The notion of "smart glass" might at first seem a bit excessive. We demand intelligence from our partners, our friends, our colleagues, and lately our phones, but windows are not an entity that seem to necessitate smartness.
There's a simple reason why smart, or "dynamic," glass matters, though. It saves energy. When normal old "dumb" windows welcome in the noonday sun, buildings bake. But Soladigm's electrochromics glass automatically adjusts its tint, helping regulate the temperature of a building and thereby reducing cooling (or heating) costs. The company claims its windows can reduce heating and cooling usage by a quarter. That's one reason why the company was named a winner of GE's Ecomagination challenge last year.
Soladigm has competitors, including the Saint-Gobain-backed Sage. And we recently looked at a company, Peer+, that manufactures a different kind of "smart glass"--windows thatdouble as solar panels, generating electricity themselves. Imagine, then, if the two joined forces to make "genius glass" that both saves energy and generates it.

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