Coming, a `smart’ window that turns into a TV screen

Imagine a window in your living room that could double as a giant thermostat or a big TV screen. A new glass technology may make it possible.

Researchers at University of British Columbia in Canada have found that coating small pieces of glass with extremely thin layers of metal like silver makes it possible to enhance the amount of light coming through the glass. This, coupled with the fact that metals naturally conduct electricity, may make it possible to add advanced technologies to windowpanes.

The next phase of this research will be to incorporate the invention onto windows with an aim to selectively filter light and heat waves depending on the season or time of day, said lead researcher Kenneth Chau. Chau questioned what would happen if they reversed the practice of applying glass over metal -a method used in the creation of energy efficient window coatings. “It’s counter-intuitive to think that metal could be used to enhance light transmission, but this was actually possible,” Chau said.