Skip to Content

Electronic Window Shades

Long a lab curiosity, “smart windows”-energy savers that darken in response to an electric current-appear headed for U.S. commercial production in the fall of 2001. Sage Electrochromics of Faribault, Minn., has teamed with 3M and the Center for Ceramic Research at Rutgers University to develop a process in which five thin layers of ceramic, totaling only one fiftieth the thickness of a human hair, are baked onto glass panes. Application of electricity to the coating causes the window to tint; the higher the voltage, the darker it gets. Turning the dimmer knob all the way causes the window to block up to 95 percent of light. Similar glass has been used in automotive rearview mirrors, but there have been obstacles to high-volume production of large panes suitable for homes and offices-obstacles Sage says it has now overcome. The glass was developed with $3.5 million from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Advanced Technology Program.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

How scientists traced a mysterious covid case back to six toilets

When wastewater surveillance turns into a hunt for a single infected individual, the ethics get tricky.

It’s time to retire the term “user”

The proliferation of AI means we need a new word.

The problem with plug-in hybrids? Their drivers.

Plug-in hybrids are often sold as a transition to EVs, but new data from Europe shows we’re still underestimating the emissions they produce.

Sam Altman says helpful agents are poised to become AI’s killer function

Open AI’s CEO says we won’t need new hardware or lots more training data to get there.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.