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.
Joined by leading companies in the industry, like Vision Systems, LG Display, BMW, and Texas Instruments, Gauzy showed how light control glass (LCG) tech is heading towards a new standard in advanced glazing that can benefit the automotive and transportation industry.
It is one of Gauzy’s main goals to make any window active and multifunctional, and provide both visual and thermal comfort alongside communication, Peso said in a statement that announced the company’s collaboration with South Korea-based LG Display, which is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of polymer-dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC) thin-film transistor liquid crystal display panels, organic light-emitting diode (OLEDs), and flexible displays.
“By adding our LCG smart glass technologies to glass and other technologies like transparent OLEDs with suspended particle (SPD) by LG Display, together, we are setting a new standard in signage,” Peso added.
Founded in 2009, Gauzy develops, manufactures, and markets LCG technology such as SPD and PDLC 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 told 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 US, and Germany. Gauzy’s distribution channel of certified partners serves leading brands in over 40 countries.
LG Display showcased a transparent OLED panel developed with Gauzy SPD technology at IAA 2021. Using this tech, the transparent OLED display can adapt to brighter environments and changes in lighting conditions. Gauzy’s SPD technology can be dimmed to block up to 99% 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 in a statement.
“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 added.
Gauzy and BMW
German luxury car manufacturer BMW also presented its new BMWi Vision Circular car concept at the IAA. The prototype has a new LED headlight and backlight system developed by using Gauzy’s SPD LCG technology integrated into a thin glazed window.
“While the car is a concept, the application of our technology in it is not at all,” Peso said.
The all-electric car features dynamic shading headlights that give the vehicle a futuristic exterior. As the car starts, the SPD glass switches from dark to transparent. The technology also creates seemingly endless possibilities of light configurations, expanding the range of designs.
“There is also a way to make it invisible at times when 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,” Peso explained. “BMW is projecting to put this in every one of its models,” he added.
It is not just headlights and exterior lighting that prompt OEMs to turn to Gauzy’s products. In hot countries such as Israel, cars with sunroofs or significant amounts of glass can easily trap too much heat inside the cabin. Peso told NoCamels the company is looking to work with automotive manufacturers such as Mercedes or McLaren to replace all traditional shading systems with Gauzy’s material in the glass, which can turn the glass 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 strides in the automotive industry in a number of ways. Last year, the company raised USD 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 parent company of Mercedes-Benz. The ability to completely control whether a car’s smart glass is transparent or opaque 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 was 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.”
The article was originally published by NoCamels, a leading news website covering breakthrough innovation from Israel for a global audience.