The year is 2040 and my grandson asks me, “Grandpa, what do you mean glass didn’t tint automatically when you were a kid? Geez you had it rough! You mean you had to sit behind windows that made you hot and you couldn’t see out to enjoy the view because there was too much glare?”
Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, this isn’t going to happen—dynamic window products won’t become the norm—because the technology and the products cost too much. Maybe it’s durability? Or maybe you think it’s complicated to install? However, if you are older than 30, then ask yourself this: “If I could go back in time and invest in a bottled water company, would I do it?”
I can vividly remember my dad telling me what a dumb idea it was for people to bottle water when it was already available for free out of drinking faucets everywhere. He told me no one will pay a dollar for something they can have for free, and besides, if they want it in a bottle they can fill it up at home before they leave. Yet just yesterday, I bought a whole case to put in my refrigerator.
Think about the first cell phones. They were huge and they only made phone calls, nothing else. The coverage area was very limited and the cost was sky high. Now my kids have smart phones with apps galore. They video chat with groups of friends all at the same time. They search the web and so much more and it is all relatively inexpensive. My wife feels better knowing she can get a hold of them whenever she wants to.
Over the last decade, I have witnessed an amazing transformation in glass. We now have a whole new category of glazing products that are dynamic—from self-tinting dynamic glass, electrically switching dynamic glass to dynamic kinetic façade exteriors.
Yes, the companies manufacturing these products have had their struggles. But, all of them have great people who have worked tirelessly to solve issues and overcome great obstacles. The quality of dynamic glass has never been better and we have never had so many options and choices as we have today. The price has been steadily coming down. And, the use of these products in tandem with other technologies like BIPV and automated LED lighting systems, is propelling us into the future. Dynamic glass makes the lighting systems and the HVAC systems perform better. The ability to conserve energy, provide comfort and be stylish can co-exist with the all these products.
Perhaps someday in the not too distant future, you can tell your grandkids that you were there at the forefront of a movement in glass and architecture, when glazing became dynamic.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.