The global smart glass market size was valued at USD 4.8 Billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 9.5 Billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 10.7% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Smart glass is an architectural glass whose light transmission capabilities adjust in response to temperature, voltage, or light changes. These glasses are frequently used for internal partitions, windows, and skylights in residential and commercial buildings. Technologies for smart glass include electrochromic, photochromic, thermochromic, suspended-particle, and polymer-dispersed liquid-crystal devices. Smart glass creates climate-adaptive building shells when it is integrated into the building shells. Blinds, shades, and other window treatments may not be necessary with smart glass windows.
In addition to controlling natural light, smart glass may limit UV and infrared light, display advertisements, and offer security. Smart glass can save energy while heating and cooling a structure by altering the amount of sunlight that enters a window. A clear or haze temperature control film makes the smart film adopt a haze condition when it is sunny, and the interior temperature is high. The smart glass turns translucent in bright sunlight and cool interior temperatures.
Products, including anti-glare frame windows and electrochromic films, are revolutionizing smart glass technology. As end-use industries recognize smart glass's unique aesthetics and technical attributes, the demand for smart glass-based products will soon increase. Similarly, the energy safety perspective and the environmental regulations have driven the demand for energy-efficient smart glass.
Furthermore, reduced sun glare is the primary benefit smart glass offers, resulting in reduced solar heat gains. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, electrochromic windows reduce electricity consumption by up to 49% and reduce lighting costs by up to 51%. This has increased the demand for electrochromic glasses in commercial buildings and transportation. For instance, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has incorporated electrochromic glasses in its windows. Similarly, LG's new product line of refrigerators features a darkened glass panel that illuminates to become transparent. Such factors drive market growth.
The aerospace and transportation sector is projected to emerge as a major client for smart glass applicability, thereby contributing to market revenue. The commercialization of SPD smart glass has uncovered several opportunities, such as rearview mirrors, smart glass installations in side-view windows, and sunroofs. These glasses reduce the built-up heat within the vehicles due to their ability to block solar heat gain. SPD automotive rear and side windows and sunroofs greatly benefit passengers and drivers.
SPD glass's fast-switching features and infinite tuning features reduce unwanted glare and light, enabling users to enjoy not only the outdoor view but also the glare-free view of displays and video screens. The heat-blocking features improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in vehicles. The majority of contemporary aircraft models encompass SPD windows. SPD windows block the cabin heat buildup, reduce maintenance costs, and block UV radiation to protect the interiors. Therefore, smart glass's advantages in the transportation sector drive market growth.
Smart glass manufacturers use price skimming strategies to increase the Return on Investments (ROI). Using alternative solutions provided by legacy counterparts costs one-third of the smart glass offerings, which is expected to hinder the market growth. Similarly, the ancillary chemical coating and glazing alternatives to smart glass products are further expected to restrain the market growth.
The transportation sector is estimated to be a major patron of the smart glass market owing to luxury automobile manufacturers' growing inclination toward smart glass solution offerings. However, the automotive sector's growth is anticipated to be hampered to a certain level by cheaper substitutes such as tint glass and glazing solutions, which provide adequate seclusion benefits, thereby restraining the market expansion.
The increasing regulatory initiatives to install smart glasses are expected to drive the overall market over the forecast period with a high penetration of smart glass in construction. The growing consumer awareness is expected to fuel smart glass demand. Smart glass bestows dynamic switching functionality to its users along with façade provision, heat insulation, and associated energy savings. In addition, the European Union and other regional bodies have established smart glass mandates for monitoring energy efficiency to administer the levels of transparency quotient and glass tinting. For instance, Photovoltaic cell-infused smart glass windows conserve energy by utilizing solar energy to generate electric power, qualifying the construction proposal to reap the benefits of 'The Green Building Tax Deduction' 179D act.
Additionally, Section 179D (the "Commercial Building Tax Deduction") of The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) of the US Code Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, deducts tax for the cost of energy-efficient improvements to a commercial property designed to save energy through the envelope, lighting system improvements, and HVAC. Similarly, Section 179D (also known as the green building tax deduction) offers new or existing building owners the deduction for installing efficient building envelopes, high-efficiency interior lighting, or heating, venting, and cooling (HVAC) or hot water systems. Such factors create opportunities for market growth.
The global smart glass market is segmented by technology and application.
Based on technology, the global smart glass market is divided into electrochromic, polymer dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC), suspended particle devices (SPD), thermochromic, and photochromic.
The electrochromic segment is responsible for the most significant market share and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.81% over the forecast period. The electrochromic smart glass segment is estimated to witness substantial growth in revenue generation owing to distinctive facets such as reduced response time to apply the glass effect at low voltage consumption. The electrochromic glass market growth can be attributed to the dynamic applicability in construction and domestic sectors protecting objects under the glass of museum display cases and damaging effects of the visible wavelengths of artificial light and UV rays. Furthermore, the surging penetration of luxury automobiles in the Asia-Pacific region and elevated income levels of patrons are the major drivers for the growth of the electrochromic smart glass market.
Photochromic smart glasses change features in the effect of heat or light without any secondary power source, so they are classified as passive smart glasses. Photochromic smart glasses have a wide application in eyewear due to their color-changing characteristics, a highly preferred material for sunglasses and spectacle glasses. The growth of photochromic glass can also be attributed to its applicability in solar power generation instrument manufacture. In addition, the market for solar energy storage devices is predicted to expand significantly throughout the projection period, fueling demand for photochromic smart glass. Moreover, the rising demand amongst architects to install UV light-based light filtering in buildings is augmenting the need to install photochromic glass. Further, increased usage of photochromic glass in novelty items, sunglasses, and data storage promotes market growth for the segment.
Based on application, the global smart glass market is segmented into architectural, transportation, consumer electronics, and power generation.
The transportation segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period. Smart glasses have found applications in the transportation industry with uses in windows, doors, sunroofs, and windshields in vehicles. Additionally, the rising need amongst users to reduce heat and sunlight and access wide-angle images, resulting in improved user experience, further augmenting smart glasses adoption in transportation applications. The transportation segment is further bifurcated into automotive, aircraft, and marine transportation segments. Smart glasses in automotive applications involve rear and side-view mirrors, which give more detailed insights into surroundings, thus improving user experience. These glasses offer the ability to portray essential driving insights on the windscreen, such as speed, temperature, and distance from surrounding objects, which improves the in-car experience and offers a safer driving ability to the driver.
In the aircraft segment, by using SPD-based smart glasses, passengers can control the amount of light entering from their windows and offer essential functionalities such as reducing unwanted glare, preserving views, and better managing the amount of healthy daylight to ensure passenger well-being. These factors offer promising growth prospects for the aircraft application segment for smart glasses. Additionally, in marine transportation, smart glasses find application in luxury yachts and ships, mainly in controlling heat and light in ships, offering users privacy as needed, and voice-enabled commands to improve passenger experience and comfort.
North America Dominates the Global Market
The global smart glass market is bifurcated based on region into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant global smart glass market shareholder and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.31% during the forecast period. The market development in this area can be ascribed to the availability of value-added products, such as laminated glazing, and the region's establishment of energy conservation regulations for buildings. Regional businesses are launching products that meet consumer demands driving market growth. For instance, at CES 2022, Halio Inc. unveiled its AI-based smart glass solution that offers responsiveness, speed, clear and tint color, uniformity, and cloud technology for autonomous operation. In addition to driving the demand for smart glass in the regional automotive industry, the increasing adoption of electric vehicles equipped with sophisticated technologies is anticipated to stimulate the demand for smart glass in the region.
Furthermore, the key players collaborate with several government organizations, enhancing market growth. For instance, the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy and Sage Electrochromics, Inc. have worked together to create smart glasses that reduce glare, fading and heat gain. Rising demand amongst companies to save energy and reduce their carbon footprint is promoting them to adopt electrochromic smart glass due to their energy generation and on-command changing capability.
Europe is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.6% over the forecast period. The smart glass market in Europe is dominated by transportation and manufacturing applications. Economic growth recovery and technological breakthroughs are the primary drivers of growth. The presence of several automotive companies and major smart glass OEM suppliers is augmenting the rise in smart glass adoption. Likewise, the existence of several developed countries and the booming transportation industry offer several growth prospects to the market. The need for energy-efficient products is likely to be sparked by the rapidly rising cost of electricity in the region.
Smart glass is projected to find more uses in Europe due to its capacity to lower a building's overall energy consumption while providing fascinating features like on-demand privacy or glare control. This glass is a common building material for many architectural applications because of its versatility. In addition, smart glass is a good solution for preserving the interior temperature of buildings or vehicles in the extreme weather conditions common in many regions of Europe, reducing overall energy expenses. As a result, in the upcoming years, Europe is anticipated to be a key prospective growth market for smart glass.
In Asia-Pacific, rising disposable income and increased demand for luxury vehicles propel the market growth. Increasing energy conservation awareness in the area is predicted to encourage using energy-efficient air conditioners and windows. In addition, increasing investments in domestic and international constructions are boosting the adoption of electrochromic smart glass in the region. Besides, the strong momentum of the real estate sector in the Asia-Pacific region is further providing an impetus to market growth. Further, rapid industrialization in China, India, and South Korea is anticipated to boost regional demand for residential and commercial buildings, hospitals, and tourist destinations. These factors are anticipated to generate lucrative growth opportunities for market-active companies.
In Latin America, increasing awareness, urbanization, and real-estate development facilitate the need to use smart glass in homes and other construction activities. Furthermore, countries such as Mexico and Brazil have a notable automotive industry envisioned to fuel the demand for the smart glass market. In addition, the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region offers exciting growth prospects to the market, owing to the presence and further development of the highly meticulous construction industry in the Middle East. Similarly, the emerging need amongst organizations to save energy and the untapped market for solar energy in Africa is further promoting users to leverage smart glass technology.
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