Safe Spaces and Study Pods: Switchable Technology in Educational and Care Applications

Switchable technology is the perfect accompaniment for a room that necessitates privacy. Providing instant visual privacy at the press of a button as the surface changes state from frosted to clear on command, switchable glass and film offers customers a stylish and low maintenance privacy solution. Switchable Glass or Film, also known as PDLC technology is commonly used as a privacy solution for commercial, hospitality, retail and residential applications. So versatile is this technology that we frequently see applications in wider markets such as health care, places of worship and even theatre, TV & film production. With a default state of frosted, this incredible technology works by passing power through the switchable layer causing the PDLC crystals to present the glass as clear, allowing for total control over privacy from up to 25 meters away using a remote control.

 

A Safe Space Pod with Switchable Panel

Safe Space Pods with switchable panels can offer the height of privacy even in busy areas

 

Ideal for integration with glass walls, switchable technology provides the ideal level of visual privacy for rooms such as Safe Spaces, Study Pods or Sensory Rooms. As the demand for these environments increase in the educational and care sectors in particular, Switchable Glass offers a solution that can be both highly functional and effective.

Installing switchable technology in a pre-existing room allows for a multi-functional space, ideal for environments where room for development is limited or restricted. By installing a switchable partition in a pre-existing meeting room, for example, it allows the room to share functionality between its previous purpose and its new one.

 

Switchable film can be installed onto preexisting partitions to save space

 

Even if space is not a luxury and you are looking to develop a certain area, switchable technology boasts versatility that will allow most applications to get the most from it. Self-Adhesive Switchable Film, for example, allows clients to retrofit switchable technology to pre-existing windows or Plexiglas. If you do not have the architectural infrastructure to accommodate a retrofit switchable installation, glass partitions or other glass privacy structures can be constructed relatively easily with integrated switchable technology.

Visual privacy is certainly taken care of using switchable technology, but what about safety? Use of glass in educational and care environments inevitably brings questions of Health & Safety as well as questions of practical use. However, Intelligent Glass is proud to address these concerns with Switchable Laminated Glass, which comprises of laminated safety glass combined with switchable technology. This product is ideal for safety and security, providing more durability than other switchable products in certain applications such as high traffic areas, wet rooms / bathrooms, hospitals and manufacturing or medical clean rooms. To further boost its safety credentials, Intelligent Glass now offer a Fire Resistant Switchable Glass product in partnership with Pyroguard, providing you with a multi-functional investment that’s stylish, compliant and safe.

 

Laminated Switchable Glass offers safety, security and privacy

 

Since this durable solid-state technology replaces the need for old fashioned blinds or curtains, it could be argued to be an even safer option, as there are no lengthy blind cables with or curtains to pull – only a remote control – something which may be a consideration for designers of Safe Spaces made for children with special needs or learning difficulties. Indeed, the very effect of switchable technology upon people can be profound, especially those who have never seen it in action before. The changing state of the glass from frosted to clear offers a further opportunity for engagement with children or adults who may have special needs, making it a perfect instrument in Sensory Rooms.

Adding even more value to this investment is the possibility to combine it with further technologies. For example, for the ultimate in privacy solutions, Intelligent Glass manufacture a Sound Insulating Acoustic Switchable product, which can help to reduce sound pollution from both outside and inside a Safe Space or Study Pod – a perfect solution when looking to cater to educational, care or special needs audiences.

 

A Study Pod with Switchable Sound Insulating Glass offers the ultimate in privacy solutions

A study area with Switchable Sound Insulating Glass offers the ultimate in privacy solutions

 

Another addition that may enhance a switchable installation in an educational or care application is projection or interactive functionality. Our manufacturing process allows us to produce Rear Projection Switchable Screens, an upgrade that may be ideal for display or presentation applications such as Sensory Rooms. Furthermore, by making this screen touch capable, users are given more control over their environment and yet another engaging function – one that turns your switchable installation into an interactive display solution that serves wide ranging applications such as a presentation / lecture aid, a Study Pod learning tool or a Sensory Room feature.

 

Switchable Projection Screens are incredibly effective in visual applications

 

The versatility of switchable technology makes it the ideal privacy solution for your space, no matter what style you are trying to achieve. Coloured Switchable Glass is a great way to bring colour to your room or even fit a particular theme, perfect if the application is intended for children or serves as a central attraction. Coloured Switchable Glass is manufactured using a special process that allows us to colour the glass in a way that still enables standard switchable functionality as well extra features such as safety lamination, fire resistance or even sound insulating options.

 

Coloured Switchable Glass can be used to bring switchable technology to environments with a range of themes.

Coloured Switchable Glass can be used to bring switchable technology to environments with a range of themes

 

For more discreet solutions, switchable technology can even be integrated into many doors with glass panels. Switchable Vision Panels may be enough privacy for your application, especially if you are limited on space, as it allows you to convert any room or office with a glass panelled door into a privacy room. Designed to offer default privacy to those inside the room or building, the Switchable Vision Panel is operated using a simple button, which can be installed on the inside or the outside of the door, depending on the application. This allows occupants to check who is at the door or alternatively it allows those on the outside to check if the room is occupied without disrupting the occupants. Installed with a low level of disruption, this product can be integrated neatly into a door and powered by AA batteries, allowing for a privacy system that is independent from the mains power supply.

 

People can use the Switchable Vision Panel to check if the room is occupied without disrupting the occupants

Use the Switchable Vision Panel to check if the room is occupied without disrupting the occupants

 


Interested?

Intelligent Glass offers a wide range of switchable smart glass solutions with options including toughened glasslaminated panelssmart glass windows and the retrofit self-adhesive switchable film.

If you would like further information, a pricing quote, or to discuss ideas for using our switchable glass and film products, please visit our contact page or call us on +44 (0)1226 351 759.