Sonte has created a digital film that can be used on existing windows allowing users to turn windows from clear to semi-opaque.

The film is a plastic sandwich which contains polymer-dispersed liquid crystals. The film can reorder these crystals in order to turn the window semi-opaque. It’s controlled by a Wi-Fi transmitter allowing users to control the film via their smartphone. The project is currently raising funds on Kickstarter.

 

In an instant: turn windows from clear to semi-opaque

 

In recent years we’ve seen smart technology invade the home: from smart thermostats to high-tech bathrooms and intelligent mirrors. And windows are no exception.

Sonte’s invention speaks to this trend. The flexibility offered by this technology gives users the chance to change the level of transparency provided by their windows in an instant. Aside from allowing for privacy or greater light as and when it’s needed, this also removes the need for blinds, reducing interior clutter.

The mechanism for operating this system similarly reflects current consumer lifestyles and our constant connectivity. Indeed, according to Mintel’s Digital Trends Spring US March 2013 report, 50% of consumers own a smartphone.

As this type of technology becomes more common in everyday life, we’re sure to see household brands look for ways to sync different operating systems together as simply as possible (see our trend “The Suite Life”). Brands and businesses that jump on this bandwagon sooner rather than later are sure to be rewarded with increased custom.

 

This is an observation from our Inspire trend Life Hacking which looks at the ways in which consumers are looking to boost their productivity. For the latest trends and observations on Inspire  click here.

Personal Care Market

Our personal care team uses that in-depth knowledge to put Mintel’s consumer research in category context to show you the coming trends and tell you what they mean.

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