You must have heard about smart glass (or also sometimes referred to as switchable glass), but we know so little about it. In essence, smart glass is, as a generic definition of Wikipedia would provide, “glass or glazing whose light transmission properties are altered when voltage, light or heat is applied. Generally, the glass changes from translucent to transparent, changing from blocking some (or all) wavelengths of light to letting light pass through.”
Commonly, buildings install smart glass to fairly utilize its ability to cut cost on lighting, air-conditioning, or heating as it is very good in creating climate adaptive building shells.
And its use is not only limited to such function. “According to American research firm Gartner, companies who equip their field sales staff with smart glasses could save over a billion dollars in the next three to five years. One in ten companies will have implemented such technology by 2018, it says. Gartner’s research director, Angela McIntyre, believes that over the next ten years, the technology will become more affordable, helping smart glasses become firmly established in the corporate mainstream as an efficiency-boosting tool. The only shortcoming so far is the absence of a service provider network and useful apps designed to simplify complex tasks. Gartner predicts that smart glasses will have the biggest impact in manufacturing, for example in the oil and gas industry. This is because smart glasses can be used to support workers in completing individual tasks and enable workers to have both hands free to perform their manual activities. The tool can also help employees learn about new methods and equipment – on-site training could in fact be partially replaced via the device,” wrote Andreas Schmitz in the article dubbed The Benefits of Smart Glasses for news.sap.com.
On a much simpler description, smart or switchable glass has the ability to “change from transparent to opaque thanks to the action of an electrical current on liquid crystal molecules. In the inactive, OFF position, smart glass is opaque and offers privacy and shade. It is also in this state, that smart glass can be used as a top of the range HD projection screen. When power is ON, smart glass looks like any other glass. It is crystal clear allowing home owners, hotel guests or office workers the full benefit of landscape views and natural daylight,” as explained in an FAQ of smartglasscountry.com on Smart Technology Applications.
According to the article of Andreas Schmitz, there are some important claims that the American research firm Gartner has mentioned, including how smart glasses will be very beneficial to employees in the future as it could function as a reliable virtual assistant. This revolutionary prediction is highly probable, as technology experts would see it, “Instruction manuals and illustrations make it easier for employees to complete their daily tasks. Employees no longer need to memorize all processes, which at times can be complex; instead, they can now display individual process steps on their smart glasses. What’s more, smart glasses act as virtual assistants that enable employees to work with both hands. One particular advantage of this is that newcomers to a work area can display all relevant procedures and processes directly on their smart glasses and don’t necessarily need to be supported by a colleague.”