30 October 2007
User-controlled Transitions lenses – on a bus
Brian Micklethwait

One of the technological developments that Patrick and I talked about in this conversation was how much better and stronger glass has been getting lately.  Window pains have gone from flat transparencies that shatter into fragments if you so much as nudge them to giant hi-tech heat and light control systems that you can drop a car on without damage to anything but the car.

Soon, it would appear, we will be able to alter these membranes (membrains?) for ourselves, at any rate when travelling by bus:

Think user-controlled Transitions lenses, but for automobiles.  Got it? If so, then you’ve got a pretty decent idea of what makes Hino Motor’s concept motorcoach - which was being shown off at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show - unique. Developed by Research Frontiers, the SPD-Smart technology covering those expansive panels there on your right “allows vehicle occupants to instantly, precisely and uniformly control the amount of sunlight, glare and heat passing through the windows, sunroofs and other glazings.” Additionally, it blocks over 99-percent of harmful UV radiation and can be darkened or lightened with the press of a button. ...

Cool.  Literally, if cool is what you want.

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  1. One of the technological developments that Patrick and I talked about in this conversation was how much better and stronger glass has been getting lately.

    Every imaginable building material has been getting better and stronger, dramatically, for the last 25 years, not just glass. The materials revolution is a gigantic story, and one that doesn’t get enough press. (Yes, I know I keep harping on it. It’s just a really big deal).

    Posted by Michael Jennings on  30 October 2007 at 05:26 pm

  2. “Window pains”

    I almost went and changed that but I have this funny feeling you might have meant it.

    Posted by Patrick Crozier on  30 October 2007 at 09:23 pm

  3. I admit that pains instead of panes might sometimes work, but this was a pure error.  My spelling knowledge started going into reverse about five years ago.  Which reminds me, I must do that posting about getting my bus pass.

    Posted by Brian Micklethwait on  30 October 2007 at 10:31 pm

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