Could "Smart Windows" be the Next Big Thing in New Construction?
American households are utilizing technology to monitor and connect with their homes from afar now more than ever. Over the couse of recent years, companies have launched products that let you see who is at your front door, turn on your lights, and set the temperature of your home, all from your phone. As we embrace these new technologies, it only makes sense that we would also want to be able to control one of the biggest, and most vulnerable, parts of our homes - the windows.
Sillicon Valley startup View Inc. is currently the largest producer of smart-glass technology in the United States. Founded in 2007, the company has completed 450 projects nationwide in both the commercial and residential sectors. Their "smart windows" automatically adjust to sunlight to reduce glare and heat, and eliminate the use for blinds. Each individual window can also be controlled via the owner's smartphone, for more customized settings. This function has proven to be immensley helpful in commercial spaces such as View's current project, the TIAA building in midtown New York City. The installation of these windows allow more desks to fit in a smaller space because the computer screens won't be affected by glare from their many windows. This is freeing the owners of the offices in the building to use their excess space for new ventures. From a residential perspective, this technology could be used to prevent the sunlight from waking residents up, without the need for clunky blinds. It is also helpful in homes with beautiful south-facing views to keep cooling costs low in the summer.
Another smart feature in View's windows is the security integration installed within the glass. In the event that a window is shattered, the "SmartProtect" technology can notify the building's security system and call the police. This feature could prove very useful in residential homes as it provides homeowners peace of mind that their home is working to protect them, whether they are inside or not.
Currently, the cost of View Inc.'s windows are about five times that of traditional glass panes. However, the reduced energy costs, built-in security, and removal of the need to purchase blinds, may make a strong case for homeowners consider installing them.
Post adapted from The Wall Street Journal article "Startup's Windows Show Some Smarts" July 2019