Sensors Converge: Smart Windows give returning office workers a better View

The NTT OneVision Center in Sunnyvale, California, is the latest office building to use View Smart Glass technology, which can be used to control the amount of light and heat coming into an office.

It’s been a while since many of us have seen the view outside our office building windows, and some of us may have rediscovered that view only recently. Having a view of the outside world while we work is important for many reasons, but a company called View is enabling that view to be more than just a view.

Aditya Dayal, vice president of AI and sensors at View, gave a keynote speech at Sensor Converge Wednesday in which he talked about how electrochromic, sensor-enabled View Smart Glass windows can be an integral part of evolving smart building efforts.

“Smart Glass technology can control the amount of heat and light coming into a room,” Dayal said. “The electrochromic glass is really like a large lithium ion battery.” he added that a Smart Glass window or entire banks of such windows can be monitored and adjusted to allow more or less light and heat to permeate and indoor space, reducing the need for office blinds and other window coverings.

More importantly, the ability to heat or cool a room by controlling glass transparency “means the load for the HVAC system must take on is much lower, and that translates to energy cost savings for the entire building.”

View’s Smart Windows are being actively used in more than 500 office buildings, and the company announced its latest deployment just this week at the NTT OneVision Center in Sunnyvale, California, the new innovation hub for the global technology services firm NTT. 

The company also is enabling what Dayal called “glass intelligence,” the ability to use digital twin technology and AI to monitor, track and analyze data gathered from smart windows and interior spaces, as well as take into account external data, like sky conditions and how surrounding buildings affect light levels to produce insights that can help building managers make smarter decisions.

“Our ViewSense EQ can assess carbon dioxide levels, temperature, humidity, sound, light, particular matter,” he said. “You can predict what conditions will be like 15 minutes from now. You can see how CO-2 levels go up during the day and down at night. If you put all this through machine learning, you can drive a lot of insights about what needs to be corrected or what changes need to be made.”

While Smart Glass potentially could be used to minimize the amount of daylight coming into an office to maximize cost savings, Dayal said the company supports the notion that daylight and having a view beyond the inside of an office is good for the mental health of workers. “Our default setting is to allow in as much daylight as possible,” he said.

As demand has grown for View’s Smart Glass, the company has faced supply chain constraints similar to what other companies have faced in recent months, but Dayal said View has been able to keep moving forward on projects. “We had to scramble for some parts we needed, but were able to find alternate supply,” he said. “It’s not holding us back.”

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