The things that surround us are quickly transformed to become intelligent, contributing to the development of the Internet of all things. Our watches are smart, our TV’s are smart, even the light bulbs have applications for your phone to connect to. Soon, your home’s windows will be smart too, thanks to a new material.
Imagine that you want to watch a movie in the middle of the day, but sun’s rays are reflected in the screen. Soon, you will not have to get up to pull the blinds, because you will be able to control the opacity of the windows with the help of your phone.
Although this sounds great, until now the smart windows have been a dream, because of the high costs that would be involved in developing such technology. However, researchers have found a material that can easily adapt this purpose.
It is a silicone called polydimethylsiloxane polymer. The rubberized material is not new and it’s currently being used in many industries, but its use for creating smart window was purely accidental.
The material is dark, but as it’s being stretched, it becomes increasingly transparent. Thus, the researchers began experimenting by adding paint, to measure when the light can penetrate and under what conditions.
They concluded that, by joining multiple layers of polymer and by setting a special algorithm, manufacturers could create intelligent windows that become opaque or transparent depending on the necessity.