The smart glass market was valued at USD 3.46 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 7.03 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 12% over the forecast period 2020 - 2025. Smart glass finds its applications in many end-user verticals, due to its unique properties. However, only the applications found in the construction sector and transportation industries stand to be an excellent source of demand for smart glass in the current market scenario.
- The increasing regulatory reforms, such as LEEDS, National Green Building Standard, Green Globes, etc., for green buildings, are encouraging the commercial building owners to invest in smart energy-saving solutions, such as smart glass.
- The increasing applications in the field of transportation are creating immense demand for smart glass. It is estimated that smart glasses installed in automobiles are capable of providing 98% UV protection and 40% solar reduction for making the vehicles' cabins more comfortable.
- Aerospace application companies, like Boing and Airbus, are implementing smart glass technology, by integrating with IoT systems. For instance, Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane employs electrochromic windows, which turn entirely opaque on the click of a button. This trend is gaining popularity among all the luxury and private jet manufacturers, globally, opening new opportunities in the market.
- Apart from aerospace, smart glass is increasingly adopted in trains and ships. In 2019, Vision Systems demonstrated a wide variety of SPD-SmartGlass products designed for the cruise industry, to improve the cruise ship passenger experience.
Key Market Trends
Transportation is Expected to Hold a Significant Share
- The smart glass has found a large-scale application, particularly in the automotive industry, in sunroofs, and exterior and interior automatic dimming rear-view mirrors. Smart glass installations are seen in top automotive manufacturers, such as BMW and Mercedes. Mercedes-Benz offers its S-Class Coupe, as well as other variants of the S-Class, with the option of modern Magic Sky Control panoramic roof, using SPD-SmartGlass technology. Some of the benefits of SPD-SmartGlass include remarkable heat reduction inside the vehicle, UV protection, glare control, noise reduction, and fuel consumption.
- Recent applications witnessed in smart glass that is currently being used to merchandise new launches, notably Jaguar Land Rover, who used it to launch the F-Type, and Rolls Royce, who used it to launch the Dawn. By combing switchable technology with a projection application, the customer can use two of the most coveted features of switchable glass to maximum effect.
- Smart glass is also increasingly being adopted in trains. For instance, a monorail train in South Korea has windows that automatically fog when passing by the apartments that are close to the train. The glazing occurs when the window's light transmission properties are altered through the application of voltage, heat, or light to the surface.
North America is Expected to Hold the Largest Share
- Smart glass is becoming one of the region's popular building materials. One of the reasons for its growing popularity is that it is a multi-purpose building material that architects use for several different purposes.
- Smart glass has become an increasingly widespread feature for the commercial design sector because of its aesthetic value. For instance, Spirit Lake Casino and Resort, a fine dining restaurant in North Dakota, installed smart glass for providing (the guests) spectacular views of the natural surroundings, despite solar glare problems. The technology is also helping the restaurant save money by reducing the conditions' cooling load of air conditions during the sunny days.
- The demand for smart glass is increasing owing to the growing concerns of energy consumption in buildings, especially in the commercial sector. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), buildings account for 40% of the total energy consumption of the United States and about 70% of the electricity use. Windows are commonly considered as the least energy-efficient building components. They are responsible for about 40% of the total energy consumption for cooling and heating, as well as lighting (as natural light blocked by shades has to be replaced by artificial light, according to the California Energy Commission). The factors mentioned above are expected to influence the demand for smart glass in the region.
- As building codes around the United States are driving the demand for greener designs, smart glass windows emerged as an appealing product to a variety of customers within the building sector. Such trends are expected to drive the demand for smart glass market in the region.
- Further, the region has been witnessing the adoption of technology from the government sector. For instance, Government Services Administration Headquarters (USA) adopted smart glass for renovation at the agency's headquarters. The smart glass helps to keep building occupants comfortable while minimizing the amount of energy consumed for cooling and heating. It can reduce the building's cooling load by up to 20% and HVAC requirements up to 30%. This glass also supports the GSA's commitment to using more green technologies in its renovated buildings.
The smart glass market is competitive and consists of several players. Many companies are increasing their market presence by introducing new products, by expanding their operations, or by entering into strategic mergers and acquisitions.
- April 2020 - Israeli startup Gauzy, the developer of liquid crystal glass panels for use in a variety of industries, has raised a Series C round of funds from investors Hyundai Motor Company, Singapore-based fund BlueRed Partners, and Avery Dennison, a US maker of labeling and packaging materials.
- November 2019 - At the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, Avondzon, Kinestral Technologies, Inc. and Halio International, S.A., announced a 160-bed residential care center in Belgium that installed Halio smart-tinting glass. Developed and manufactured by Kinestral, Halio was used for 132 skylights to create a "glass roof" that would deliver maximum daylight without sacrificing the comfort of residents and staff.
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