Switchable technology, also known as PDLC technology provides instant visual privacy at the press of a button, enabling the surface to change state from clear to frosted on command. A stylish, low maintenance and versatile technology, our PDLC products allow us to offer clients a wide range of switchable solutions that meet a plethora of requirements. Typically used in privacy applications, switchable technology can take the form of either switchable glass – a full solution that sees us manufacture the product in our clean room environment – or switchable film, a self-adhesive retrofit film that can be applied to any glass or plexiglas surface with ease.
The privacy credentials of our switchable glass and film ensures that this technology is ideal for office, residential or commercial privacy applications, often being used in glass partitions or on windows.
However, we also see a very popular use of switchable technology in doors of all types, from residential front doors to shower cubical doors; the innate function of a door is usually privacy, making switchable technology an ideal companion that enhances the door’s standard functionality. With a default state of frosted, this incredible technology works perfectly for door privacy, only unveiling what’s on the other side when required by the operator. By passing power through the switchable layer, the PDLC crystals present the glass as clear, allowing for total control over privacy via a battery powered button or a remote control from up to 25 meters away.
Switchable technology looks incredible as part of a glass partition, especially when integrated with a door for maximum effect and convenience. Below, we can see an office application of switchable glass where the door blends with the rest of the partition whilst still enabling privacy, not just on the partition, but also on the door itself; offering privacy for the full area and still allowing ease of access into the room. This is an effective and powerful application of switchable technology that can impress clients or visitors at the same time as offering useful functionality, especially as part of an executive meeting room or boardroom.
Use of glass in many privacy applications may bring 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 is ideal for safety and security, providing more durability than other switchable products in certain door applications such as through-access / high traffic areas, 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. This safety factor allows for use of switchable technology in applications you may not expect, with specialist glass being applied depending on the application. For example, Fire Resistant Switchable Glass is an ideal addition to a server room door, allowing for protective safety whilst offering the security benefits of privacy. Laminated switchable glass is also a great addition to shower room doors, offering both safety and functionality that is especially effective in high-end / premium applications.
Some specialist switchable door applications offer enhanced style and security compared to traditional solutions, as seen by a popular use of switchable technology in such applications as transport. Below, we see a switchable solution in a car door window, offering the passenger privacy at will. Traditional car door privacy solutions tend to tint the windows, allowing for a permanent one-way privacy solution that isn’t as effective as many who desire privacy in this application would expect. Switchable technology, on the other hand, offers an effective privacy solution that can be controlled and applied when required, allowing the passengers to enjoy scenery during drives in rural areas whilst enjoying privacy when driving in populated areas.
Bi-Fold doors are one of the most common applications of switchable technology for a very good reason. Bi-Fold doors are large glass doors that open by folding to counter the practical issues that come with opening an equivalent sized glass door that may otherwise be on one hinge. One of the biggest issues with Bi-Fold doors is the privacy, as the very point of this solution is to benefit from natural light and outside scenery from the comfort of in-doors. Unfortunately, standard glass has little to no privacy, leaving a large space in the room that is far from private. A traditional solution to this would be blinds or curtains, requiring maintenance and regular cleaning from dust. However, custom or large sized blinds and curtains offer an inferior privacy solution to that of switchable glass, especially for a Bi-Fold application where the traditional solution often brings more complications than solutions. As the door folds, curtains and blinds open up obstacles considering instillation and general use. Switchable technology solves all this by keeping the privacy solution native to the glass itself, offering a clean and simple solution that preserves the design and style theme without being ruined by unsightly blinds or curtains.
Switchable technology works amazingly when looking to transform your space and enhance your facilities. Switchable Study Pods are a perfect application of switchable glass, enabling not just visual privacy but also audio privacy, offering the ultimate space for educational or studying purposes. Intelligent Glass’s Sound Insulating Acoustic Switchable glass can help to reduce sound pollution from both outside and inside a Study Pod. By integrating the door with this technology, clients are offered a full privacy solution with added ease of access, topped off with cutting edge style and design. Below we can see an application of switchable in a potential Study Pod application. In an application enclosed by Switchable Glass walls, a standard door here would not only look out of sorts from a design perspective, but it’s functionality would also let the entire privacy solution down, especially if the walls have Sound Insulating Glass too. Switchable technology’s versatility in this case bolsters the entire solution, allowing for heightened privacy as well as ease of access – in style.
As one of the most versatile switchable solutions, our Switchable Door Vision Panels offer a discreet product than can be integrated into many doors with glass panels. A Switchable Door Vision Panel 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 typically operated using a 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.
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.