Block Out Your Windows With a Press of a Button

/ 4 years ago


We’ve all seen it in the movies when a character walks into their office for a private phone call and the city is glaring at them through their windows. A button press later and the windows are suddenly opaque, blocking out light and vision. While technologies have existed to do this, they’ve often been slow, costly and requires a large amount of energy. MIT hope to have addressed some of those concerns with their new changing windows.

While other techniques take a few minutes to change from clear to opaque, MIT’s new technique doesn’t even need the constant flow of voltage to remain in one state, it only needs a short burst when its switching colours. The device uses sponge-like materials to conduct the electrons and ions required to give it the colour changing properties, using both red and green to create a colour that is very nearly black.

Block Out Your Windows With a Press of a Button 1

While MIT professor Mircea Dincă is confident that the technique could lead to “pretty significant energy savings” when it comes to air conditioning, thanks to the ability to “just flip a switch when the sun shines through the window, and turn it dark”, the alternative uses of this technique are equally as interesting. Dincă believes that they could also create low-power smart displays, such as the e-ink displays used by Kindles on a wider range of devices.

With only a lab demo working at the moment, the next step is to create a practical device to demonstrate the technique as a commercial viability.

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