Sunday, September 18, 2005

Auto-Tint Glass

Auto-tint glass has been used in eyeglasses for many years now (my earliest memory reaches as far back as 1995). You've probably seen it around—people wear a single pair of glasses that transform into sunglasses when they go outside into the Sun, and transform back into regular eyeglasses when they come inside.

Let's all pause a moment and consider how amazing this simple thing is.

Ok, thank you. I am curious why this technology hasn't found itself more useful. Imagine the possibilities!

Windows...everywhere!

You can buy permanently tinted windows but they come with a pretty serious limitation: at night, they are really, really dark. How about windows that automatically tint during the day, but lighten up at night? It seems to me that this would keep our cars and houses cooler in the warmer months by blocking out the Sun (energy efficiency is all the rage these days, right?).

I think this would be particularly useful at offices. The office I used to work at had tinted windows and they always made things look dreary outside. When it actually was dreary, the windows made things look like a storm of biblical proportions was approaching. Auto-tinting windows could reduce this problem by dimming only to the authority of the Sun.

Sure, I guess a naysayer would complain that we'd lose the energy savings in the colder months because the Sun helps but screw it, I say it's well worth the trade off. You could still use this in lieu of standard window tint for reasons already mentioned.

So the next time you plop into your hot, 140F degree car on a hot summer afternoon consider auto-tinting windows.

If anyone has any figures detailing how expensive this stuff is, let me know. This is the only reason why it isn't more popular that I can think of.