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Halio is a smart glass that can darken on demand within 3 minutes

By Alvin Soon - on 5 Feb 2018, 4:16pm

Halio is a smart glass that can darken on demand within 3 minutes

You’ve heard about smart homes, smart speakers, and smart TVs. But what about smart glass?

Halio is a new smart-tinting glass that has made its way to Singapore. Made by Kinestral Technologies, Halio can tint automatically or on demand. It’s now available for both commercial and residential buildings.

Halio is different in a few ways. The glass can connect to a network, so a central command centre can make an entire facade tint on demand. It can also tint automatically, whether on schedule, or through smart sensors. Scenes can also be set. So one side of the building tints, for example, while the other sides remain clear.

This connectivity also extends to the home. While you can use keypads to control Halio, it can also connect to third-party devices. Halio supports Amazon’s Alexa, so you can use your voice to control tinting. Control is also available through a web browser and mobile app.

Self-tinting glass isn’t new. Thermochromic glass, for example, switches tints according to temperature. Halio is an improved version electrochromic glass. Previously, electrochromic glass could take up to 30 minutes to tint and produce uneven tinting. Its clear state had a yellow cast, while its tinted state had a blue cast.

Halio starts tinting within 15 seconds, and finishes tinting within three minutes. In its clear state, it looks like glass, and it provides uniform tinting. You can choose from shades of clear to dark grays.

Halio glass in its clear state. Note that Halio is in front of another piece of glass in this shot, so it doesn’t look as clear as it’d normally would.

Halio in its tinted state after three minutes. The one on the left has been set to a darker tint than the one on the right.

In our demo session, Halio looked like any ordinary glass before tinting. Once tinting is activated, you can see a honeycomb pattern on the glass, but only if you look closely. This honeycomb pattern is a sign that the glass is tinting. Once done, the glass looks dark and the honeycomb pattern disappears. The tinting goes both ways, so neither side can see through the other.

If you look closely, you can see a honeycomb pattern emerge during the process of tinting. This pattern disappears once tinting is completed.

Self-tinting glass has benefits beyond privacy and aesthetics. A bright interior, for example, reduces the need to turn on lighting. When it gets hot, tinting glass blocks solar heat, reducing strain on air-conditioning.