January 14, 2013
| by Lisa Montgomery
We’ve seen smart windows at trade shows and in high-end homes. You touch a button on a remote and the window magically turns from clear to opaque to provide sunblocking and privacy. These solutions have historically required the installation of a special electronically charged pane of glass—a solution that’s out of the financial comfortable zone of most people.
At CES Aeon Labs demonstrated a new technology that will allow homeowners to add tinting functionality to their existing windows. The product, expected to be available later this year, is a 0.7mm thick sheet of what appears to be a plastic material that can be cut to suit the size of any window. It simply adheres to the existing glass. Still under development, the film will likely include a thin electrical wire that plugs into an AC outlet. A small module would also attach to allow the Smart Film to communicate over a Z-Wave network. (Aeon Labs makes a number of other Z-Wave devices including motion sensors, light switches and keyfobs and remotes.
The same glass pane with the smart film shown clear and opaque.
According to company senior business developer Daniel Dykes, Z-Wave compatibility would allow the Smart-Film to be controlled from a remote or to alter its transparency automatically via a signal from a motion sensor. No word on what Smart Film might cost.
Check out how one home uses electrochomatic glass to create privacy only when needed.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.