The future of storefronts is here, and it’s transparent, Gauzy Eyal Peso CEO said earlier this month as Israeli developer of smart glass announcement partnerships with automotive, mobility and display technology giants at the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) or International Motor Show in Munich, Germany.
Joined by industry-leading companies such as Vision Systems, LG Display, BMW and Texas Instruments, Gauzy showed the automotive and transportation industry how LCG smart glass technology is heading to a new standard in advanced glazing .
The ability to make any window active and multifunctional, and to provide visual and thermal comfort as well as communication, is one of Gauzy’s main goals, Peso said in a statement that announced the collaboration. company with LG Display, one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of thin film transistor, OLED and flexible display liquid crystal display panels.
“By adding our LCG smart glass technologies to glass and other technologies like transparent OLEDs with SPD from 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 (liquid crystals dispersed in a polymer) associated with transparent raw materials, especially glass and polycarbonate. LCG allows glass to change from transparent to varying degrees of opacity for custom shading, solar control, energy conservation, privacy, and transparent commercial displays.
“Gauzy is currently focusing on smart materials,” Peso told NoCamels after their appearance on the show. “We are working towards an equal distribution between architectural and mobility spaces, and our appearance at the IAA was a reflection of this.”
The company is headquartered in Tel Aviv with additional offices in China, the United States and Germany, where it was participating in the international event. Gauzy’s distribution channel, made up of certified partners, serves leading brands in more than 40 countries.
Through its collaboration with Gauzy at IAA 2021, LG Display showcased a transparent OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display featuring Gauzy SPD technology. Thanks to this technology, transparent OLED displays can adapt to brighter environments and changing lighting conditions. Gauzy’s SPD technology can be dimmed to block up to 99% of the light, making OLEDs more adaptable to bright environments and changing lighting conditions. When the SPD is enabled, a transparent OLED screen can provide clear visual content to show what’s behind the screen, Gauzy said.
“To create greater contrast when direct light hits while providing shade for passengers to enhance a safe and comfortable travel experience, SPD technology dims the transparent OLED panel to the desired opacity, allowing contrast high and rich colors day and night, ”Gauzy said in a report.
Gauzy and BMW
German luxury car maker BMW has created a new flagship design for its BMWi Vision Circular Showcar, using Gauzy’s SPD LCG technology embedded in a thin-glazed window. The LED headlight and backlight system was on the BMW concept car at the IAA.
“While the car was a concept, the application of our technology was not at all,” says Peso.
The all-electric car has dynamic shading headlights that support a futuristic exterior. When the car starts up, the SPD glass changes from dark to transparent, revealing headlights that illuminate the surroundings. The technology also creates seemingly endless possibilities for lighting configurations, expanding the range of designs.
“Our technology is built into the headlight system,” says Peso. “There’s also a way to make it invisible at times when it doesn’t need to be used, like during the day. Another feature is that it is possible to control the amount of light in the headlight and the way it is transmitted.
“BMW plans to put this in each of its models,” he adds.
It’s not just headlights and exterior lighting that are leading OEMs to turn to Gauzy products for use in their automobiles and other means of transportation. In hot countries like Israel, cars with sunroofs or significant amounts of glass can easily trap too much heat inside the passenger compartment. Peso tells NoCamels that the company is looking to work with automakers – such as Mercedes or McLaren – to replace all traditional shading systems and replace it with the Gauzy material in glass, which can be made transparent or opaque, according to the needs of the driver.
In some EV models, the presence of large batteries precludes the inclusion of Gauzy technology, but once their products are integrated, “you will be able to fully control from the steering wheel how much light enters the cabin,” says -he.
Gauzy and the automotive industry
The Tel Aviv-based smart glass developer and manufacturer has already made great strides in the auto industry in several ways. Last year the company raised $ 10 million in a Series C funding round which included an investment from Hyundai Motors Group, the automotive arm of Korean conglomerate Hyundai.
In 2017, Gauzy announcement a partnership with Daimler AG, the German vehicle manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. 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 he created the “thinnest back-adjusted liquid crystal film,” which can be applied to existing car windows to create “smart display panels,” turning the vehicle into a platform. form for location-based advertisements when not in use. .
Gauzy’s LCG products harness the GPS capabilities of cars to announce specific messages to the surrounding audience when the vehicle is not in motion.
At the time, Peso said the appeal of engine technology was financial, as the “concept of worldwide ridesharing” was “not enough money; the business model just doesn’t work so they want to make money when the car is stationary [still] and not just when it’s rolling.