Report # Nano-883
Published October 27, 2016

Contact us about our planned update to this report due February 2018

n-tech has been providing coverage of the smart windows market for almost a decade and has produced detailed studies of this market and related businesses including the smart windows materials markets, smart mirrors and smart auto glass.

In this report, we present our analysis of the latest developments in the smart windows business, which n-tech believes will fundamentally transform the opportunities available from this space:

  • n-tech’s previous reports on smart windows have focused on the growing number of self-dimming coatings that were being proposed as the basis for smart windows.  But we are now seeing a maturing of the smart windows with electrochromic windows showing signs of taking a dominant role in the future.  This report explores the implications of this trend, while still analyzing the commercial potential of the latest technology entries into the smart windows space.
  • Rather than just a materials play, as it once was, n-tech believes that much of the value added available to smart windows suppliers will flow from control systems and related electronics.  Today smart windows is very much an Internet-of-Things (IoT) story and this report explores how this development is creating opportunities for the smart windows firms on the one hand and how IoT firms will benefit from fitting smart windows into their strategies
  • In the past the benefits of smart windows have generally be defined almost exclusively in terms of energy efficiency.  However, what n-tech is seeing is that the marketing story around smart windows is now broadening.  In future smart windows will be sold on the basis of enhanced comfort and especially as part of a package where smart windows are combined with smart lighting to provide optimal lighting and heating control.  This report discusses where the money will be made in combining these two smart technologies and how the smart windows business will adjust to these new requirements
  • This report examines smart windows in the construction and aerospace sectors, where there seems to be considerable growth patterns.  We also look at the prospects for smart windows in the automotive sector where the market appears to have stalled.  As part of this analysis we examine the potential for smart window retrofits – these have become possible only recently and we believe will have profound implications for both the profitability of the smart windows industry and supply chain strategies that this industry adopts

In addition to providing n-tech’s analysis of these important developments, this report also presents granular ten-year projections in both volume (square meters) and value ($ millions) terms.  The report also examines the cost and technical challenges that will have to be overcome for the smart windows markets to make new products a success.  This report also develops a roadmap for the next-generation smart windows technologies along with an appraisal of the strategies that the leading smart windows suppliers

n-tech believes that this report will provide guidance to all those interested in the business prospects for smart windows and the technologies that make them possible. n-tech believes that those who will benefit from purchasing this study will include marketing and business development executives in the glazing, coatings, construction, automotive and aerospace industries.

Executive Summary    
  • E.1 New Directions for Smart Windows Since n-tech’s Previous Smart Windows Report
  • E.1.1 Smart Windows Materials Platforms:  EC Windows begin to Shines
  • E.1.2 A Future for SPD and PDLC?
  • E.1.3 A Note on the Future of Passive Technologies
  • E.1.4 Technological Scenarios for the Future of non-EC Smart Windows
  • E.1.5 Are there Opportunities for Novel Smart Windows Technologies?
  • E.2 Smart Windows Considered as Part of the Internet-of-Things
  • E.2.1 SPD Control Systems
  • E.2.2 Controls and Interfaces at View
  • E.3 Summaries of Ten-Year Forecasts for the Smart Windows Market
  • E.3.1 Important Assumptions in Forecasts and Technology Assessments
  • E.3.2 Ten-year Market Forecast of Smart Windows by End-User Markets
  • E.3.3 Ten-Year Market Forecast of Smart Windows by Active Technologies
  • E.3.4 Ten-year Market Forecast of Smart Windows by Passive Technologies
  • E.4 Firms to Watch in the Smart Windows Space
  • E.4.1 Technology Providers:  Critical Specifiers and Start-ups
  • E.4.2 Glass Companies:  What Will China Do?
  • E.4.3 Specialty Chemical Companies:  Waiting in the Wings
Chapter One: Introduction    
  • 1.1 Background to this Report
  • 1.1.1 From Electrochromism to Maturity?
  • 1.1.2 Beyond Luxury?
  • 1.1.3 Comfort is the New Green
  • 1.1.4 Supply Chains and Retrofits
  • 1.2 Objective and Scope of This Report
  • 1.3 Methodology of this Report
  • 1.3.1 Data Collection
  • 1.3.2 Forecasting Methodology
  • 1.4 Plan of this Report
Chapter Two: Technology Analysis:  Smart Windows for the 21st Century    
  • 2.1 Changing Technology Strategies for the Smart Windows Sector
  • 2.1.1 State of the Art:  Materials Platforms
  • 2.2 Smart Windows as a Component in the IoT:  Controls and Interfaces
  • 2.2.1 Smart Windows, Daylighting and Smart Lighting
  • 2.2.2 Future Technology Directions for Smart Windows
  • 2.3 Key Technological Developments in Electrochromic Windows
  • 2.3.1 Materials and Architectures for Electrochromic Windows
  • 2.3.2 Advantages of Electrochromic Glass and Film
  • 2.3.3 Chromogenics  (Sweden)
  • 2.3.4 e-Chromic (United States)
  • 2.3.5 EControl-Glas (Germany)
  • 2.3.6 Gentex  (United States)
  • 2.3.7 Gesimat (Germany)
  • 2.3.8 Sage (United States)
  • 2.3.9 View (United States)
  • 2.3.10 Manufacturing Developments in EC Glass and Film:  Reducing Cost
  • 2.4 SPD and its Upgrades
  • 2.4.1 The RFI Business Model
  • 2.4.2 Current SPD Technology, Performance and R&D
  • 2.4.3 Control and Interfaces for SPD
  • 2.4.4 Materials and Manufacturing for SPD:  Hitachi
  • 2.5 A Future for Thermochromic Smart Windows: Possible Technology Evolution
  • 2.5.1 Technology:  Pros and Cons
  • 2.5.2 Thermochromic Materials Platforms and Chemistries
  • 2.5.3 Pleotint (United States)
  • 2.5.4 RavenWindow (United States)
  • 2.6 PDLC and the Future of Privacy Windows
  • 2.6.1 PDLC Technology
  • 2.6.2 PDLC: Pros and Cons
  • 2.6.3 PDLC Supply Chain
  • 2.7 Other Possible Technologies and their Potential Commercialization Paths
  • 2.7.1 Photochromics
  • 2.7.2 Electrophoretic Technology
  • 2.7.3 Electrostatic and Micro-blinds Technology
  • 2.8 Key Points from this Chapter
Chapter Three:  Smart Windows for Buildings:  Ten-year Forecasts    
  • 3.1 Commercial, Residential, Industrial Construction Trends
  • 3.1.1 Worldwide Commercial Construction Trends by Region–Impact on the Smart Windows Market
  • 3.1.2 Worldwide Commercial Cons%MCEPASTEBIN%truction Trends—Industrial and Residential Trends
  • 3.1.3 Energy Efficiency and Zero Net Energy Buildings as Drivers for Smart Buildings
  • 3.1.4 Comfort and Style Factors Driving Smart Building Windows:  Daylighting
  • 3.2 Ten-year Forecast of Smart Windows for Commercial and Residential Markets:  TAM
  • 3.3   Active Smart Windows Markets: Commercial Buildings—Ten-year Projections
  • 3.3.1 Electrochromic Windows
  • 3.3.2 SPD Windows
  • 3.3.3 PDLC Windows
  • 3.3.4 PDLC Suppliers:  Big and Small
  • 3.4   Passive Smart Windows Markets: Commercial Buildings—10-year Projections
  • 3.4.1 Thermochromic Window Suppliers
  • 3.4.2 Thermochromic Window Suppliers
  • 3.5 Ten-year Active Residential Smart Windows Forecast: By Technology/Building Type
  • 3.5.1 Luxury Homes
  • 3.5.2 Multi-tenant Homes
  • 3.5.3 Ten-Year Market Forecast
  • 3.6 Glass v. Film
  • 3.6.1 Glass Systems:  Advantages, Disadvantages and Markets
  • 3.6.2 Film Systems:  What’s Next
  • 3.6.3 Ten-Year Forecast of Smart Windows Substrate by Type
  • 3.7 The Smart Building Windows Supply Chain:  Two Business Models
  • 3.7.1 Direct Involvement of the Technology Provider
  • 3.7.2 Distributed Supply Chain
  • 3.8 Key Points from this Chapter
Chapter Four: Automotive and Aerospace Markets for Smart Windows    
  • 4.1 Smart Windows in Transportation:   A Case Not Yet Made
  • 4.2 Smart Windows Firms in the Transportation Sector:  Few and Far Between
  • 4.2.1 RFI, Smart Windows and the Transportation Market
  • 4.2.2 SWITCH Materials:  Focus on Automotive
  • 4.2.3 Gentex:  Path into the Smart Aircraft Windows Market
  • 4.3 Factors Driving the Use of Smart Windows in Transport:  Hope for the Future?
  • 4.3.1 Control, IoT and Smart Windows in Transportation
  • 4.3.2 Design and Comfort Considerations
  • 4.3.3 Energy Efficiency
  • 4.4 Adding Photovoltaic Capability to Auto Windows
  • 4.5 Cost Trends:  Is there a Takeoff Price for Smart Windows in Transportation?
  • 4.6 Supply Chain Considerations for Smart Windows in the Transportation Sector
  • 4.7 Uncertainties:  Technological and Regulatory
  • 4.7.1 Curved Glass
  • 4.7.2 Other Factors
  • 4.8 Ten-year Market Forecast of the Smart Windows for the Automotive Segment
  • 4.8.1 Ten-year Forecast of Automotive Smart Windows Markets:  TAM
  • 4.8.2 Ten-year Passive Smart Auto Windows Forecast: By Technology/Vehicle Type
  • 4.8.3 Ten-year Active Smart Windows Forecast: By Technology/Vehicle Type
  • 4.8.4 Ten-year Forecast of Smart Auto Windows Market by Geographical Location of Car Plants
  • 4.9 Ten-year Market Forecast of Smart Windows for the Aerospace Sector
  • 4.10 Key Points from this Chapter
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report
  • About the Author
List of Exhibits
  • Exhibit E-1: Why EC Windows are the Ones to Beat in the Smart Windows Marketplace
  • Exhibit E-2: High- and Low- Revenue Scenarios for non-EC Smart Windows Technologies
  • Exhibit E-3: Smart Windows Revenues – End-User Type ($ Millions)
  • Exhibit E-4: Smart Windows Revenues – Active Technologies ($ Millions)
  • Exhibit E-5: Smart Windows Revenues – Breakout by Passive Technologies ($ Millions)
  • Exhibit E-6: Firms to Watch in the Smart Windows Market
  • Exhibit 2-1: Smart Windows—Changes in Technology Strategy
  • Exhibit 2-2: Smart Windows in the Future: The “Ultimate” Smart Window
  • Exhibit 2-3: Materials Platform Evolution in the Electrochromic Windows Market
  • Exhibit 2-4: Selected SPD Licensees
  • Exhibit 2-5: SPD Performance Specifications
  • Exhibit 2-6: Potential for Improvement in the SPD Materials Platform
  • Exhibit 3-1: Summary of Ten-year Forecasts for Smart Windows in Construction by Major Geographical Regions of End-Users ($ Millions)
  • Exhibit 3-2: Smart Windows – Addressable Markets in the Real Estate Industry
  • Exhibit 3-3: Smart Windows Markets: EC Windows (Glass and Film) in Commercial Buildings
  • Exhibit 3-4: Smart Windows Markets: SPD  Windows in Commercial Buildings
  • Exhibit 3-5: Smart Windows Markets: PDLC Windows in Commercial Buildings
  • Exhibit 3-6: Smart Windows Markets: Passive Smart Windows in Commercial Buildings
  • Exhibit 3-7: Smart Windows Markets: Passive Smart Windows for Commercial Buildings by Type of Technology
  • Exhibit 3-8: Smart Windows Markets: Smart Windows in Residential Buildings
  • Exhibit 3-9: Smart Windows Markets: Smart Windows for Residential Buildings by Type of Technology
  • Exhibit 3-10: Smart Windows Markets: Smart Windows Revenues by Type of Substrate
  • Exhibit 4-1: Value Added Features for EC Automotive Mirrors and Possible Extension to Other Smart Auto Glass Application
  • Exhibit 4-2: Selected Auto Glass Firms
  • Exhibit 4-3: Worldwide Automotive Glass Production
  • Exhibit 4-4: Summary of Ten-year Forecasts for Passive Smart Windows in Automotive by Type of Technology/Vehicle Type
  • Exhibit 4-5: Summary of Ten-year Forecasts for Active Smart Windows in Automotive by Type of Technology/Vehicle Type
  • Exhibit 4-6: Summary of Ten-year Forecasts for Smart Windows in Automotive by Major Geographical Regions of End-Users ($ Millions)
  • Exhibit 4-7: Ten-year Forecast of Smart Windows in the Aerospace Market
  • Exhibit 4-8: Summary of Ten-Year Forecasts for Smart Windows in Aerospace by Major Geographical Regions of End-Users ($ Millions)
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