Enterprise Europe Network

New flexible smart window with better optical and reliability performance at a lower cost

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Partner keyword: 
Peripherals Technologies (Mass Data Storage, Displays)
Optical Materials
Hybrid materials
Motor vehicles, transportation equipment and parts
Manufacture of construction materials, components and systems


A UK startup is testing a novel bistable smart window technology that only needs power for switching. The optically superior film is highly customisable. Technical cooperation and licensing is sought with manufacturers of car and aeroplane windows, and display cabinets. Technical cooperation is additionally sought with developers of facades for smart cities, where energy savings can be made by blocking infra-red.



Smart windows have been around for years. They are (almost) excellent in offering privacy and comfort to people who wish to switch their windows between clear and opaque state.
Different technologies exist with different features, such as electrochromic and Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal (PDLC). They have slight weaknesses such as having a tinted shade or haziness in the clear state, slow switching, and not very good viewing angle. A bigger problem for the latter is constant energy consumption. What is common to them both is high cost, which has prohibited a wider uptake.
A UK University spinout is testing new technology that promises to solve all the said problems and do this at a lower cost. This in turn will be of interest from an architectural angle. The new technology blocks infra-red (tests to measure it accurately will start shortly). Fully automated solutions become possible at a reasonable cost to regulate the vast glass areas and facades in modern cities, saving on both heating and cooling.
The picture shows a tiled demonstrator with the new technology.
It can cover the whole area, or be deposited in pixels of size and shape of interest. The opacity is continually variable from transparent to opaque and the opaque state can be coloured . The sheet can then be bent or laminated into glass.
In clear state, it is clearer than the other smart windows on the market (see further pictures below). Energy is consumed whilst switching but not in the steady states.
The company seeks technical cooperation with manufacturers in sectors such as car and aeroplane windows, glass refrigerators, display cabinets, interior design, building glazing. Upon successful projects, the technology will be licensed to the manufacturers.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
The novel form of liquid crystal does not consume power in steady state. It lends itself to well-known methods of coating and printing, allowing for a broad variety of results from a visual point. The advantages are significantly better optical and energy performance, compared to solutions on the market, but also lower cost.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Prototype available for demonstration

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
Type of partner sought: industry. Specific activity of partner: manufacturers and developers of smart windows for cars, aeroplanes, buildings, display cabinets etc. Role of partner sought: The transport sector is of particular interest. Testing, feedback and collaboration are sought. The UK company will supply the film or license to the manufacturer. Longer term projects under technical cooperation are also sought with smart cities and building product developers. Further tests are needed to validate the energy saving aspects under various conditions.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500