The future of display windows is here, and it’s transparent, Gauzy CEO Eyal Peso declared earlier this month as the Israeli smart glass developer announced partnerships with giants in the automotive, mobility, and display technologies space at the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) or International Motor Show in Munich, Germany.
Joined by leading companies in the industry, like Vision Systems, LG Display, BMW, and Texas Instruments, Gauzy showed the automotive and transportation industry how LCG smart glass tech is heading towards a new standard in advanced glazing.
The ability to make any window active and multifunctional, and provide both visual and thermal comfort alongside communication, is one of Gauzy’s main goals, Peso said in a statement that announced the company’s collaboration with LG Display, one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display panels, OLEDs and flexible displays.
“By adding our LCG smart glass technologies to glass and other technologies like transparent OLED’s with SPD by LG Display, together, we are setting a new standard in signage,” he added.
Founded in 2009, Gauzy develops, manufactures, and markets Light Control Glass (LCG) technology including SPD (suspended particle device) and PDLC (polymer dispersed liquid crystal) that are paired with transparent raw materials including glass and polycarbonate. LCG allows the glass to change from transparent to varying degrees of opaque for customized shading, solar control, energy conservation, privacy, and transparent commercial displays.
“Gauzy is focused on smart materials at the moment,” Peso tells NoCamels after their participation in the show. “We are working toward an even split between the architectural and mobility spaces, and our appearance at the IAA was a reflection of that.”
The company is headquartered in Tel Aviv with additional offices in China, the United States, and Germany, where it was taking part in the international event. Gauzy’s distribution channel of certified partners serves leading brands in over 40 countries.
Through its collaboration with Gauzy at IAA 2021, LG Display showcased a transparent OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display with Gauzy SPD technology. Using this tech, the transparent OLED displays can adapt to brighter environments and changes in lighting conditions. Gauzy’s SPD technology can be dimmed to block up to 99 percent of light, making OLEDs more adaptable to bright environments and shifting light conditions. While SPD is on, a transparent OLED screen can deliver clear visual content to show what is behind the display, Gauzy said.
“To create greater contrast when direct light hits while also providing shade for passengers to enhance a safe and comfortable traveling experience, SPD technology dims the transparent OLED panel to any desired opacity, allowing high contrast and rich colors through day and night,” Gauzy said in a statement.
Gauzy and BMW
German luxury car manufacturer BMW has created a new headlight design for its BMWi Vision Circular Showcar, using Gauzy’s SPD LCG technology integrated into a thin glazed window. The LED headlight and backlight system was on the BMW concept car at the IAA.
Sign up for our free weekly newsletterSubscribe
“While the car was a concept, the application of our technology in it was not at all,” Peso explains.
The all-electric car features dynamic shading headlights that support a futuristic exterior. As the car starts, the SPD glass switches from dark to transparent, revealing headlights that illuminate surroundings. The technology also creates seemingly endless possibilities of light configurations, expanding the range of designs.
“Our tech is embedded into the headlights system,” Peso explains. “There is also a way to make it invisible at such times as it’s not necessary to use it – like during daylight hours. Another feature is that it is possible to control the amount of light in the headlight and how it is transmitted.”
“BMW is projecting to put this in every one of its models,” he adds.
It is not just headlights and exterior lighting that are prompting OEMs to turn to Gauzy’s products to use in their automobiles and other forms of transport. In hot countries such as Israel, cars with sunroofs or significant amounts of glass can easily trap too much heat inside the cabin. Peso tells NoCamels the company is looking to work with automotive manufacturers – such as Mercedes or McLaren – to replace all traditional shading systems and replace it with Gauzy’s material in the glass, which can be made transparent or opaque, according to the driver’s needs.
Gauzy and the automotive industry
The Tel Aviv-based smart glass developer and manufacturer has already made great strides in the automotive industry in a number of ways. Last year, the company raised $10 million in a Series C funding round that included an investment from Hyundai Motors Group, the automotive arm of the Korean conglomerate Hyundai.
In 2017, Gauzy announced a partnership with Daimler AG, the German carmaker of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. With the ability to completely control whether its smart glass is transparent or opaque, it creates a unique advertising opportunity. For their collaboration, Gauzy said it created the “thinnest dark retro-fit liquid crystal film,” which can be applied to existing car windows to create “smart billboards,” transforming the vehicle into a platform for location-based ads when not in use.
Gauzy’s LCG products leverage the cars’ GPS capabilities to advertise specific messages to the surrounding audience when the vehicle is not in motion.
At the time, Peso said the draw for the motor technology is financial, as the “notion of car-sharing worldwide” is “not making enough money; the business model is just not working so they want to make money when the car is standing [still] and not just when it’s driving around.”