The Global Smart Glass Market size was valued at USD 2.81 billion in 2016. Smart glass is also known as magical glass or switchable glass. Smart glass changes its transmission properties when heat, light or voltage is applied. Smart glass is used in windows, doors, skylights, and partitions in residential and commercial buildings. Smart glass helps to reduce the cost of heating, lighting and air conditioning. The market growth is associated with the capacity of the glass to transform light and adjust heat depending on the external environmental conditions. Building owners started displaying an inclination towards adopting this technology, after realizing the long term benefits attributed to energy efficiency.
The industry is achieving heights owing to the development of strict regulations with respect to efficiency of energy and large-scale urbanization in developing countries. Elevated investments in the construction of smart glass in connection with the creation of industrial-scale production capacity, has significantly added towards market growth. Expanding consolidations among technology provider and supplier are nourishing the progress of smart glass as per a wide range of application areas. Factors like growing usage in marine, aviation and power generation are encouraging industry extension. Growing adoption of green initiatives such as eco-friendly and green buildings, non-electric technologies such as thermochromics, etc. are the factors that are driving the growth of the industry.
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In the replacement market, shifting demand towards active smart glass from passive smart glass design is adding stress to the acceptance of the products. Due to the rising recognition of the advantages of smart glass over a plain glass in the body of automobiles and airplanes, there has been a growth in the adoption of smart glasses in the automobile and aircraft industries. In addition, development of creative solutions had led to the growth of smart windows in the architectural sector. Government support and initiatives are also adding to the industry demand.
On the basis of technology, the market is segmented into SPD (Suspended Particle Devices) Electrochromic, PDLC, and Thermochromics. SPD held a market share of around 40% in 2016. SPD is an electrochromic glass that can be tuned, manually or automatically to control the light, heat, and glare entering the premises. The growth of SPD glasses can be traced to its high electricity saving capabilities. Electrochromic glass applies the electrochromic principle, which allows the materials to change the color or opacity when a burst of charge is applied.
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Electrochromic and SPD are used commonly in automotive and architecture applications. Thermochromics is used for power generation application. Due to the increased attention on the use of ‘Green Energy,’ the North America and European regions are predicted to come up as the leading markets for liquid crystal (LC) smart glass. Besides, the high durability and quick light control capacity of liquid crystal smart glass is anticipated to increase the demand throughout the forecast period.
On the basis of application, smart glass market is segmented into Architectural, Transportation and Consumer Electronics. The Transportation segment dominated the market with a revenue share of 45% in 2016. It is anticipated to come up as the most advantageous segment due to the growing acceptance of this technology by premium and medium-sized car manufacturers. The enormous tuning and fast-switching features of smart glass facilitate to reduce unwanted glare and light thus allow user to appreciate the glare-free view. The heat-blocking features help in improving the fuel efficiency and reducing the carbon emissions in vehicles. Also, automotive OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) are highlighting to lower both the CO2 emissions and energy consumption.
To fulfill this, producers are creating solutions such as anti-heat glass and glazing solutions. The increasing penetration of luxury automobiles in the Asia Pacific region as well as increased income levels of the audience are the major drivers for the growth of the industry in automotive applications. Similarly, in the aerospace sector, several OEMs including The Boeing Company, Beechcraft Corporation, Airbus SAS, Bombardier Inc. and Embraer S.A. are transitioning towards electronically dimmable windows. The construction sector is supposed to be promising sector due to its higher rate of growth with continuous investments in smart technology. In the Middle Eastern region, a majority of high towers and skyscrapers have integrated smart glass for exterior structure fabrication so as to enhance reduction of heat and light transmissions thus maintaining internal ambiance.
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North America dominated the smart glass market in 2016 with a share close to 35%. Favorable regulations and instructions have led to the growth of these products in the region, thus enabling overall saving of energy and reduction the maintenance costs which leads to a positive impact on the growth of the market. The European Union territories and the U.S. governments are planning to regulate the adoption of smart glass-incorporated electronics equipment and have directed their transport departments toward the same.
Furthermore, the existence of key participants and rising production of automotive are fueling the market growth. The industry is expected to be directed by the acceptance of premium products, such as laminated glazing, and the legislation of energy conservation regulations to build in mature markets such s Europe and North America. In the case of developing markets, growing construction sector is anticipated to provide growth avenues.
The major participants in the industry include Saint-Gobain S.A., Asahi Glass Co., Ltd, DuPont, and Corning Incorporated. The industry is dominated by a few major players who provide niche solutions for end-use applications.
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