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Global Markets and Technologies for Smart Glass

Smart glass market forecast to total US$3.3bn in 2020

The global market for smart glass-based products increased from nearly $1.8 billion in 2013 to $1.9 billion in 2014. This market is estimated to total nearly $2.1 billion in 2015 and $3.3 billion by 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.4% from 2015 to 2020. The global market for smart glass products used in transportation and aerospace is projected to increase from $1.9 billion in 2015 to $3 billion in 2020, a CAGR of 9.6% from 2015 to 2020. Sales of smart glass products used in construction are expected to increase from $141.7 million in 2015 to $199.8 million in 2020, a CAGR of 7.1% from 2015 to 2020.

The term smart glass refers to a group of chromogenic materials that change their light-transmission properties when a voltage is applied. The origins of smart glass can be traced back to the year 1704 when the first electrochromic material was discovered, but interest in smart glass technology has experienced significant growth only during the past 40 years. In fact, beginning in the early 1970s, the number of research activities resulting in patent applications and issued patents related to smart glass increased rapidly, leading to the development of improved fabrication processes, advanced properties and an increased number of applications spanning many industrial sectors.

Smart glass is characterized by its ability to change opacity and/or color when a voltage is applied. This unique behavior has been exploited in numerous applications, ranging from residential and commercial construction and architectural projects to interior design, as well as museum artwork expositions, high-end appliances, advanced displays, automotive mirrors and privacy glass.

In 2011, the market for smart glass based products was valued at approximately $1.5 billion. At less than 5% of the primary flat glass market, smart glass still represents a relatively small segment of the total glass industry, but as the electronic content of many related business sectors increases, so does interest in this technology.

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