Smart technologies have infiltrated into every product in this modern era. We have all seen smart television sets, cars and even home appliances. It has become the norm for these products to constantly evolve and become technologically advanced.
However, there are five window technologies that are emerging which may seem farfetched to the common man. Many of these are still in its early stages and need to be improved on but it is quite exciting to witness technologically advanced home improvements and residential construction features.
Five features to look out for
- In the future, your windows will change from clear to opaque with the touch of a button – this feature is ideal for residential areas and will help in reducing one’s cooling costs in hotter months. It is a great privacy feature.
Currently there are windows available that tint when necessary, and have been used in airplane windows for many years. The latest airplane models take on average about 7 minutes to tint however they don’t get dark enough to be used on home windows. Researchers from Stanford University are currently working on a new version which will take just 3 minutes to go from clear to dark.
- There is another company that is working on the changing technology – this company has made certain that windows change without electricity from clear to dark with a change in the glass temperature. How is this done? Well a thermochromic filter is applied between double pane windows combined with a Low-e coating. These work together to ensure energy efficient windows throughout the year. Warmer weather initiates the filter tinting mechanism which blocks heat from the sun from entering the home. It also reduces the glare from the sun and damage caused by UV rays. When the weather is cooler, the filter is not affected so that it remains clear for better solar gain. Since no wires or power is needed for this type of window, they are operational soon as they are installed in new developments or homes where there has been window repair and retrofitting done on existing windows.
- Windows that utilise solar power – previously you may have seen panels on roofs which would collect sunlight and change it into electricity. This, of course, left homes very dark and gloomy. Researchers have recently found an alternative which utilises clear luminescent solar concentrator which will produce solar energy while ensuring the window stays clear.
This is done by the absorption of ultraviolet rays and near-infrared wavelengths into small organic molecules. This development is still in its inception stages and only produces a solar conversion of 1% to date. There is also another method of collecting and using energy from the sun by applying a special electricity generating spray coating to the glass and plastic surfaces.
- Windows that are bird-friendly – this is a really new invention and you most likely have not heard of it as yet. It was formulated to save birds from possible injury and death when flying into windows. It is a patterned coating which is visible only to birds and not humans. This new innovations rides on the bird’s ability to see light in the ultraviolet spectrum to produce a barricade which is not available with standard reflective glass at the moment. It has been approved by the American Bird Conservancy and is available as laminated glass or insulated units that are combined with low-e coatings, making it bird friendly and energy efficient.
- Windows that are easy to clean – this may be a type of window that appeals to almost everyone, especially in this fast paced and busy world where people barely have enough time to get simple things done. Thus far there have been self-cleaning ovens, and many more automatic contraptions to make life simpler and better. Robotic window cleaners have already been introduced into the mainstream market to save you time and is able to reach those hard to reach areas. They utilise motor powered suction and clean from corner to corner of each window. There are various styles and features that you can choose from, depending on what you need and the size of your windows.
The above window technologies were created to make the consumer’s life easier however, much like any new invention, there will be costs involved to make the initial change and there may even be a few hiccups along the way. These are just a few of the many new inventions that are to come in the future and as time progresses, they will significantly improve.