Display Week 2020: Dutch Start-Up’s Glare Controls Turn Curtain Glass Windows Into Screens

August 6, 2020 by Dave Haynes

Innovation and start-up zones tend to be useful destinations at tech trade shows, because they usually have a few companies that are showing things that push new ideas and take different approaches to solutions.

Amongst the virtual stands in the innovation zone at SID Display Week, this week, is a Dutch company from the Rotterdam area that is pitching tech that does glare control for big curtain glass windows at places like airports. I mention this because VideowindoW has the glass doubling up as information and advertising displays.

Says the company:

VideowindoW is glare control with an added communicative value. Glass allows for natural light to enter buildings and protects against weather conditions. The transparency and comfort it offers, is usually diminished by conventional glare control.

VideowindoW is the first dynamic transparent glare control that enhances comfort and well-being in public spaces. Based on light sensors VideowindoW controls the transparency of tiny segments of glass, as fast as 60 times per second, thus enabling access of natural light and glare control in a gradual and optimal way.

The technology can actively be utilized to create images within the glass. VideowindoW’s glare control hence becomes content and vice versa.

It continues:

VideowindoW embraces natural light instead of blocking it, and as a result, VideowindoW can lower energy use for interior lighting and climate control up to 30%. The communicative function offers architects and designers new narrative applications for glass façades, comparable to stained glass in the past. By showing commercial content, VideowindoW transforms glass from a cost to a profit driver.

VideowindoW is a modular product, and for every situation, a ‘fit-for-purpose’ solution can be designed. VideowindoW is pre-assembled which enables for quick installation on the final location (either newly built or as a retrofit solution to existing glass panels).

Each module is equipped with a light sensor, and it uses advanced algorithms to incorporate real-time data from exterior luminescence and temperature. This is key to VideowindoW’s ability to show moving content while realizing glare control. The viewers will experience interior luminescence as stable, comforting and entertaining.

It appears the displays are monochromatic, which would be an issue for some brand advertisers. But companies like Visionect, which does e-paper displays, have shown through the years that really good design can make black and white content look terrific.

The truly interesting thing here is that it can help places like airports and convention centers, which also tend to have big glass curtain wall windows, reduce energy costs, make some seating areas usable even in direct sunlight, and take on brand advertising that maybe is not a profit center, but offsets or covers the cost of the glare control solution.

As a signage nerd, I can embrace the idea of digital OOH advertising – given it is all over the place at airports. But I think the best, most compelling application is the gate and departure information shown on some of the demos on the website. 


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