NOte: if you are looking for smartershade and got here visit vgsmartglass
Imagine being able to have any window go from clear to dark immediately. At SmarterShade we are working on bringing smart glass to everything you look through, whether it is in your house, in your office or on the train you ride everyday. Unlike other smart glass technologies, SmarterShade’s patented technology can transition on command, with no electrical power needed, with simple mechanisms for one-quarter of the cost.
SmarterShade is a fast paced startup where I have played many roles along the way; from designing new window systems to machining the prototypes, from rendering concepts to pitching to investors.
Following are some of my favorite projects where I have greatly contributed.
How does it work?
SmarterShade’s film is very similar to polarized film, in fact, polarizer is one of the its main components. The difference is that we can achieve a change in transmission by moving the films linearly, being able to fit in any shape window.
Creating samples has been a large part of my role at SmarterShade. Samples have to be easy to make since we are constantly sending them to other companies. They also have to be robust enough endure the trip, reliable to constantly provide the right effect and quick to fabricate to accommodate the growing demand.
Through our film partners, we are able to create any high resolution pattern, allowing for some more decorative alternatives as well as a traditional venetian blind styles.
RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL DOORS
This window is the larges prototype we have built so far, it is a full size door capable of transitioning from dark to clear in just seconds. The prototype was built as a sample for a window and door company interested in testing the technology.
Commercial Hand Sample
Acrylic hand samples can only show do much, in occasions people want to see a real window, or at least, a sample that looks like a real window. With this in mind, I made what we call a Commercial hand sample since it is made to imitate commercial windows out there. The knob in the center smoothly rotates making the window go from dark to clear, or vice versa.
Early 2014, we were invited to the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas; traditionally we had focused on making manual systems that required no electricity but since it was CES after all, we decided to create a smarter smart window. At first we added a motor and created an app to allow remote control, then we added sensors that allow for local control, later came a solar panel, creating the entire system capable of powering itself. There is an exciting world with automation, bringing SmarterShade's technology into larger systems, systems of systems. For now however, we'll show the prototypes we have created and let you do all the imagining of what this could be.
Sliding Door Simulation
Soon after we realized we could make more complex images, we realized we could make logos and discovered exciting possibilities in the world of advertisement. Now a days advertising is trying to become more subtle, product placement playing a pivotal role in today's media. What if you could remove the clutter and have images that appear in response to an action, like someone entering a store.
The Aftermarket unit is designed for existing windows that have already been installed. It is designed keeping in mind ease of installation for the average consumer as well as simplicity to operate. Production windows would be designed to discreetly merge with the existing window frame.
By tightening the knob, the cable pulls the parallel linkage, lifting the moving pane upwards. Loosing the knob will remove tension in the cable returning the pane to its original resting position.
Traveling in Style
After witnessing too many prototype samples break I decided to create a traveling case that would offer protection, while creating intrigue, inspiring people who see it to be genuinely curious to see what is inside.
The design is heavily inspired by a Thule Bicycle case my brother uses whenever he is traveling with his bike. It all took a few jut a few days from ideation to final product, the two part case uses the same mold although one of the parts is slightly different to the other since it fits inside the other's lip.
Prototyping is probably one of the best ways to get a meaningful idea of what a product could be, it is a fast and cheap way to really understand the potential value of a product. Prototyping every single idea however, would very expensive and impossible to fit in into our already busy schedules. In cases like these renderings are the fastest solution to effectively demonstrate a product opportunity.
Seiberle, H., Benecke, C., Bachels, T. 2013. Photo-Aligned Anisotropic Optical Thin Films.
Taztel, R., McLeod, W. (2013) U.S. Patent No. US 8310757 B2. Washington, DC USTPO