The idea of glass that tints itself according to light exposure has been around for a while. Transition lenses, for instance, are already doing that for people who need glasses. Now, one Minnesota-based company is finding new ways to expand this notion.
Sage Electrochromics unveiled a prototype at the American Institute of Architects conference this month that could change the way we live with glass. The product is dynamic glass, designed to tint itself in different sizes and shapes, according to Quartz. Sage Electrochromics has already created numerous ways to tint different portions of a window, but this prototype would allow for non-tinted shapes to create unique beams of light.
Depending on where you want natural light to flow through your room, this dynamic window could be helpful. Say you only want one corner to be illuminated, while the rest of the room stays shaded. This product would allow you to leave a triangular portion of the window untinted to permit a ray of light.
Not only could the product suit your lighting preferences, but it could eventually help you reduce energy costs, as well. The need for shades and blinds may also decrease, depending on how many you install. The prototype would be an effective option in residential and commercial spaces alike.
Sage told audiences at the conference that tinting and shape selection would be accessible through a smartphone app. Professional designers and architects would create the shapes and patterns available to consumers, and the glass itself would be programmable. However, Sage’s prototype is still in development at the moment.
Smart glass typically works through embedded electrochromic thin films, which are designed to transform the glass from transparent to opaque. Sage has been in business since 1989, and it unveiled the world’s largest electrochromic glass plant in the world in 2012.