View: High-​​tech brings its smarts to buildings

USA TODAY
By Jon Swartz
April 27, 2016

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. — In a cav­ernous man­u­fac­tur­ing plant about 20 miles from Mem­phis, a vision of the future is hum­ming away.

A Cal­i­for­nia start-​​up called View, which has raised a whop­ping $500 mil­lion from investors includ­ing Corn­ing, Gen­eral Elec­tric and Khosla Ven­tures, is mak­ing high-​​tech win­dows that have the poten­tial to bring to build­ings what high-​​resolution touch­screens did for smartphones.

View’s win­dows elim­i­nate glare, change hue, mod­er­ate inter­nal tem­per­a­ture — and at some point, could show entirely dif­fer­ent views of the out­side world — via a process that  uses a pane of glass sprayed with elec­trochromic mate­r­ial, which alters light transmission.

The result is smart glass that increases energy effi­ciency and promises bet­ter worker pro­duc­tiv­ity, via tech­nol­ogy accessed through an app.

When you look at smart glass, the only smart sur­face we saw was on our phones,” says Ben Bajarin, an ana­lyst for Cre­ative Strate­gies who fol­lows the indus­try. “Now, we believe con­sumers are mov­ing toward an age where smart glass can do almost any­thing — for exam­ple, project images of the sun on your win­dows dur­ing a rainy day or view­ing data on the window.”

While ele­ments of the tech­nol­ogy have been around on a smaller scale, such as car win­dows, View is the first com­pany to com­mer­cially pro­duce such glass at a large scale. Sage­Glass, a Minnesota-​​based maker of elec­trochromic glass, is per­haps View’s best-​​known competitor.

Smart, or dynamic, glass is turn­ing out to be a key com­po­nent in the con­nected build­ing mar­ket that some peg at up to $1 tril­lion. View esti­mates the smart glass mar­ket could be worth an esti­mated $100 bil­lion worldwide.

To read the full arti­cle, visit USA Today.