The global market for Smart Glass is projected to exceed US$7.5 billion by 2024, driven by the increasing focus on energy efficient building technologies, robust demand from the transportation sector, and development of innovative and advanced window solutions.
Smart glass, also known as switchable glass or dynamic glass, feature far greater potential than existing varieties, and they are getting smarter day by day. The simple act of providing light and ventilation in a building and automobile is completely transformed with the advent of smart glass. Although the smart glass technology is around for about 20 years in the form of eyeglasses with transitional lenses, the functionality of smart glass continues to evolve and transform with several types of technologies being tested and developed including but not limited to electrochromic, thermochromic, photochromic, and polymer-dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC). The current smart windows include self-cleaning windows; windows that allow users to open shades, adjust lights and temperature; selectively block light, glare, or heat and quickly change the view from clear to a tinted hue, and enable security systems and appliances through push buttons and smartphone operations. Myriad benefits of smart glass that are driving its widespread adoption include the non-requirement of shades, custom blinds, or curtains; maximize daylight and preserve night time views; minimize glare in a room; protect fabric furnishings by preserving color; enabling huge savings on cooling and heating cost; provision of enhanced privacy; reduction in CO2 emissions; and maintaining the health, comfort, and productivity of occupants, among others.
Strong growth is projected for smart glass in both developed and developing countries, driven by favorable government regulations that recommend energy efficient heating, cooling and lighting solutions in buildings and cars. The ongoing trend towards embedding electronics, such as sensors, to turn auto and architectural windows into displays of infotainment content represents another significant factor benefiting market expansion. Transportation sector represent the largest and the fastest growing application area supported by growing environmental concerns, increasing emphasis on energy efficiency, focus on better fuel economy, and the incessant drive to improve car and aircraft designs. Other important growth drivers include positive outlook for the global construction industry; rising investments in infrastructure projects worldwide; recovering automotive production particularly in the developing countries; expanding applications in aviation, marine, and solar power; shifting demand from passive to active smart glass technologies; technological innovations and advancements that are resulting in steadily declining prices, among others. Also, huge opportunities exist for smart windows in the retrofit segment as majority of the windows in current buildings worldwide are not energy efficient.
Europe represents the largest market worldwide, followed by the United States. Robust demand for various technologies that aid in minimizing energy consumption and maximizing energy efficiency of buildings and automobiles; presence of leading smart glass innovators; huge penchant for novel technologies; and stringent energy efficiency regulations, among others, represent key growth drivers in developed markets. Asia-Pacific ranks as the fastest growing market worldwide with a projected CAGR of 16.3% over the analysis period, driven by massive adoption of energy-efficient smart window solutions in China. Booming construction activity and green policies established by the Chinese government are expected to make China one of the most important markets for smart windows worldwide.
Key players in the market include Active Glass Technologies, Asahi Glass Company Ltd., Asahi India Glass Ltd. (AIS), Clayton Glass Ltd., Corning, Inc., Essex Safety Glass Ltd., Flat Glass Industries Ltd., Gentex Corporation, Glass Apps, LLC, Guardian Industries, Hitachi Chemical Group, Intelligent Glass, InvisiShade, LLC, Nippon Sheet Glass Co., Ltd., Pleotint, LLC, RavenWindow, Research Frontiers Incorporated, Saint-Gobain SA, SAGE Electrochromics, Inc., Schott Corporation, Smartglass International Limited, Vario Glass, Inc., and View, Inc., among others.