According to the market research report “Smart Glass market 2012-2017, by technology (Thermochromics, Liquid Crystal (LC), Suspended Particle Display (SPD), Electrochromics, Photochromic), Applications (Architectural [Commercial, Residential], Transportation [Automotive, Rail, Aviation, Marine])”, the total Smart Glass market is expected to reach $3.83 billion by 2017 at a CAGR of 20.3% from 2012 to 2017.
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Amongst the various technologies involved in the Smart Glass market (like Photochromic, Electrochromic, Thermochromic, Suspended Particle Display (SPD) and Liquid Crystal (LC)), the suspended particle display technology is observed to be the most potential type of service with a share of approximately 53.39%. This is followed by liquid crystal and electrochromic technologies with market shares of 25.93% and 17.28% respectively. The future opportunities under the Smart Glass market are expected to be governed by the automotive and rail verticals that are expected to inflate the smart coatings and the smart window demand with a little contribution coming from the marine vertical.
The market for Smart Glass is estimated to reach $3.8 billion in 2017 at a CAGR of 20.3% from 2012 to 2017. APAC is observed to grow at the highest rate. This is primarily due to the growthof awareness and inflating demand for eco-friendly building norms and mandates being levied in the developing nations like India, China and Japan.
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The “smart glass” is one of most researched technologies in the glass industry but the market could attain large scale commercialization only in the latter half of the 2000s. “Smart glass” has emerged as a high end technology for light, heat, and glare control and is witnessing increasing adoption across different verticals such as commercial and automotive. One of the most widely accepted and commercialized “smart glass” product is switch able or dimmable window primarily used in architectural and automotive sector. It is an innovative technology that not only offers a sustainable eco-friendly alternative to float glass but also provides building owners an unprecedented control over solar heat gain. The market potential for smart glass is significant and the market is expected to attain economy of scale and larger penetration with the increasing high volume production that will bring down the end product cost. Substantial new production facilities are coming up all cross the world and likely to bring down the cost to a competitive level.
Reflective coatings, low emissivity glass, and gas-filled cavities have all been components of energy-efficient windows since decades but with the commercialization of smart glass technologies such as Electrochromic (EC) and Suspended Particle Display (SPD) among others, there is an increasing adoption of smart glass in both - residential and commercial construction. Smart glass is an essential product to add ‘green’ factor to the building. Smart glass and smart windows helps in achieving zero-energy goals. Energy efficiency, coupled with potential energy harvesting by incorporating PV cells in these glasses is most likely to make it as a key element of smart and green buildings. The green building is currently an enabler of the smart glass market and is most likely to continue driving the market in long run as well.
With introduction of Electrochromic (EC) rearview mirrors widely used for its auto dimming property and its ability to dynamically control light. Since then, the industry has a come a long way, thanks to continued research and development in the smart glass technology field. Due to the inherent properties of smart glass to reduce the heat loss and glare control, smart glass is being used as sunroof glass in the high end automobiles such as Mercedes-Benz SLK, Audi and BMW. The high end luxury car is witnessing significant adoption of smart glasses not only as sunroof but also as side windows owing to its ability to control glare, provide shading while preserving views, and improving indoor air quality.
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