Window tint provides numerous benefits; however, it may sometimes be too dark or too light for certain settings. Advances in technology now make it possible to adjust the amount of tint with a smart phone or tablet. Having windows that are connected to Wi-Fi may sound futuristic, but it is actually something that is possible right now.
Auto-Tinting Window System
A company called View (formerly known as Soladigm), first introduced their new auto-tinting window system at a Greenbuild conference in San Francisco in 2012. This new system uses glass with an electrochromatic coating, which automatically darkens in response to changes in light. As such, the degree of tint can be adjusted based upon the occupancy of a room, outdoor lighting conditions, and other factors. These windows are primarily used in commercial settings such as retail outlets, office buildings, and hotels, but could be expanded to other markets in the near future.
View uses physical vapor deposition techniques to apply the electrochromatic material to regular glass. These techniques are similar to the ones used in the thin-film solar industry. The result is that metal oxide gasses are pushed out onto the glass to create a thin yet durable ceramic coating. Wiring is then added to the window along with a second pane of glass. These wires are well hidden, and do not interfere with the finished design. View’s windows look very much like other windows, despite having more intelligent features.
How the Windows Work
View’s new window system is connected to a brick-shaped device, which in turn connects to wireless Internet networks in the area. This allows users to automatically adjust the amount of lighting using a smart phone, computer, or other networked device. Wall switches can be manually operated to make the amount of tint lighter or darker. Light sensors that are connected to a central management system can also be programmed to adjust the amount of tint as conditions inside the room change.
“Smart Window” Benefits
The biggest benefit to this system is the ability to change the amount of window tint. During the summer, you can increase the amount of tint to keep your rooms cooler, and then decrease it during the winter to let more light in. This alone can save you up to 20% on your heating and cooling bills. The coating is also more durable than traditional window film, and can therefore be expected to last much longer. According to View CEO Rao Mulpuri, the windows also add tremendously to the user experience by giving people greater flexibility. It is very easy to switch the amount of tint where and when you need to.
If you have ever wanted to change the amount of tinting your windows have, these new Wi-Fi controlled panels could be just what you are looking for. Although they cost more initially, they will more than pay for themselves over time by providing you with better energy efficiency and greater durability.