Startup View’s Smart, Switchable Glass To Turn DFW Airport Windows Into Digital Signs

January 18, 2021 by Dave Haynes

The expanded Terminal D at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport will include smart architectural glass that reduces glare and heat, but also allows dynamic messaging on the switchable, network-controlled windows.

The windows are expected to be and working by April, with the technology supplied by a Silicon Valley start-up called View.

In View’s PR about the project, it says the smart windows are part of “DFW’s Gate of the Future, a fundamental rethink of gate design in which the health and experience of passengers take priority. The expansion will be the first in an airport to deploy View’s latest smart building digital network, AI and machine-learning powered environmental sensor modules, and transparent ultra-high-definition displays.”

The company adds: “View Smart Windows use artificial intelligence and machine learning to power the windows, optimizing natural light while controlling heat and glare—creating smart, connected buildings that reduce energy consumption and enhance the mental and physical well-being of occupants.”

“DFW Airport’s commitment to providing an elevated passenger experience is as strong as our focus on finding new technologies and solutions that support sustainable methods to achieve that goal,” says Sean Donohue, CEO at DFW Airport. “Our partnership with View is an example of finding innovative answers that improve the passenger experience, proactively provide more efficient energy usage, and reduce our carbon footprint.”

Every View installation includes a smart building digital network platform that consists of power, data, and communication infrastructure. This high-speed distributed edge network is the core platform for the next generation of applications like View Immersive Experience and View IAQ Insights.

View Immersive Experience will transform the smart windows at DFW into transparent, ultra-high definition digital canvases, which can be used to communicate and entertain passengers by displaying meaningful information right on the glass.

View IAQ insights are powered by View Sense environmental sensors that will turn gates into living, breathing entities capable of optimizing humidity, air, and dust— all of which directly impact passenger health. DFW will be able to leverage AI-powered insights from this sensor data to make smart decisions to ensure a healthy and comfortable environment.

“As the world looks to build the infrastructure for the post-pandemic era, View Smart Windows are being adopted in airports at an accelerating pace,” says Dr. Rao Mulpuri, Chairman and CEO of View. “We are thrilled to be partnering with DFW as they are outfitting the entire airport with View Smart Windows and opening up even more possibilities by being the first airport to deploy View Smart Building Digital Network, View Sense and View smart glass UHD transparent displays to create a healthy, fun and safe passenger experience.”

It is not readily apparent or spelled out, at least not that I could fine on View’s website, what is technically going on with this glass. I assume this is LCD, but I am not sure what is illuminating the LCD layer, unless it is natural light. I wouldn’t think it is transparent OLED, and the resolution is far higher than what’s available with building glass embedded with teeny LEDs, connected by micro-wiring.

The tech is reminiscent of a Dutch start-up, VideowindoW, that also does switchable glass.

As is the case with the Dutch company, I think the most compelling aspects of this glass is the ability to improve airport experiences and reduce operating costs for expensive things like heating and cooling. There are likely a lot of departure lounges in airports that are too bright and baked to even sit in, reducing their usefulness.

Being able to message on the windows, as well, is interesting. I have my doubts MORE advertising on airport concourses will be welcomed with much enthusiasm, however.

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