Smart Glass Market size is forecast to reach $6.5 billion by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 12% during 2021-2026. Globally, the market for smart glass is gaining traction due to improved raw materials & technological advancement and the prospect of new applications across different industries. Due to its inherent thermal and acoustic insulation ability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic 3D designer proposal, smart glass has grown because of its significance in transportation, power generation, and consumer electronics. Also, the rising demand for electrochromic, thermochromic, and photochromic glass due to its transmission properties will further drive the smart glass market growth. Furthermore, energy-efficient glasses are experiencing strong demand as a result of a policy-driven outlook on environmental and energy security and are anticipated to create new opportunities for the growth of the global smart glass industry in the forecast era.
Impact of Covid-19
Due to the COVID-19 palindrome customer shutdowns, record declines in the consumer spending, and lack of capital expenditures are trends having a negative impact on the smart glass market growth. Under the wide spectrum of manufacturing sectors, the automobile and construction-related industries have been greatly affected, which has further declined the market growth for smart glass in the year 2020.
Smart Glass Market Segment Analysis – By Technology
Electrochromic technology held the largest share in the smart glass market in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% during the forecast period. Electrochromism is the phenomenon of certain materials reversibly changing their colours or optical properties through redox reactions under an applied electric field, which has found applications in smart glasses. Predictably, by applying the visualization technique to multiple practical instruments, electrochromism can have much broader applications as a colour control technology that provides visual detail readable by the naked eye. Indeed, some recent research results indicate that the convergence of electrochromic technology with other advanced technologies has provided a new strong catalyst for the further advancement of electrochromic technology. Electrochromic processing has been used in rearview mirrors in the automobile industry for a long time. With the newest developments, applications have also been found in switchable walls, sunroofs, and many others.
SmarSmart Glass Market Segment Analysis – By Application
Transportation sector held the largest share in the smart glass market in 2020 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.5% during the forecast period 2021-2026. Smart glass defends against dangerous ultraviolet (UV) radiation, removes glare, helps to regulate the heat inside the car, provides inherent acoustic insulation and decreases the energy expended while controlling the temperature. To gain benefits from its antiglare property, remote access capability, and dynamic light emission modification properties, many automotive, aerospace, and marine manufacturers have integrated smart glass materials into their designs. The important application area for smart glass in transport is in the form of doors, sunroofs, windows, windshields, skylights, and rearview mirrors. Smart glasses help to mitigate the generation of heat, provide shade, restrict the distance of viewing and give users privacy. Thus, owing to such alluring properties and the increasing use of smart glass in the transportation the market for smart glass is anticipated to rise over the forecast period.
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Smart Glass Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
Europe held the largest share with of more than 35% in the smart glass market in 2020. The demand for smart glass in the region is majorly driven by the growing demand for automotive and construction activities in emerging economies, like the U.K., Germany, and France. The principles of creativity, reliability, sustainability and architecture are reflected in German vehicles. According to the German Trade and Invest (GTAI), German automobile manufacturers produced over 16 million vehicles in the year 2019. Also, in the U.K., the increasing use of electrochromic smart glass window systems enhances the energy efficiency of both residential and tertiary buildings in the construction sector. According to the office for National Statistics, monthly construction production in Great Britain increased by a record of 23.5% in June 2020, significantly higher than the previous record monthly growth of 7.6% in May 2020. The demand is therefore anticipated to increase in the forecast period due to the rising automotive and building construction industry.
Smart Glass Market Drivers
Increasing Use of Smart Glass in Automotive Industry
The automotive industry is rising at a rapid rate. The sales of light and heavy duty vehicles in recent years have been powered by increased market trust in the economy and higher investment. Several variables affect the market for automotive smart glass. With an increase in the overall car population and the amount of miles traveled the replacement volume of glasses increases. The demand for automotive glass repair and replacement can also be boosted by severe weather and road conditions. However, after a vehicle trade-in or sale or vehicle inspection, customers prefer to delay repairing minor damage to a windscreen. Production of new cars, turnover of used vehicles and vehicle inspection regulations therefore have a positive effect on demand for smart glass for automotive applications in various countries. According to the OICA, even though the outbreak of Covid-19 affected the growth of the production of vehicles in the first quarter (Q1), the production gradually increased in the second and third quarter (Q2 & Q3). The production of vehicle was 1,78,60,338 units in Q1 which raised to 3,11,33,068 and 5,20,09,458 units in Q2 & Q3 respectively.
Growing Applications of Smart Glass in the Solar Energy Plants
Solar power generation plants are one of the emerging users of smart glass. In solar panels, smart glass is used to consume the full volume of light to produce electricity. Energy-related prices are constantly growing, with demand for alternative power sources increasing over the last decade. One of the alternatives to traditional energy sources is solar energy. The efficiency of thermochromic and photochromic smart glass depends directly or indirectly on the light of the sun. Using such auto-dimmable smart glass helps to significantly reduce the consumption of energy, especially for heating and cooling systems. According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, ongoing solar projects such as Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power projects will drive the demand for smart glass in the solar industry. Thus, rising initiatives by governments and the growth of the solar industry is projected to offer many opportunities for the growth of the smart glass market.
Smart Glass Market Challenges
Lack of knowledge of the Long-term Advantages of Smart Glass
There is limited consumer understanding of the distinctive advantages of smart glass since the concept has been commercialized across various verticals with just a few applications. In application fields such as automotive and architecture, the present stage of promotion and acceptance of smart glass will boom the growth of the market, with industry players and architects knowing the advantages of smart glass technology. From the past two years, this technology can gained momentum at a moderate pace due to lack of awareness. There is, however, a more need to inform end-users about its use as an energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly and future-oriented technology. Hence, due to the lack of awareness of the long-term benefits of smart glasses the growth of the market can be hindered.
Smart Glass Market Landscape
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the smart glass market. Major players in the smart glass market are Saint Gobain, AGC Inc., Research Fronteirs, Gentex Corporation, Smartglass International, Innovative Glass Corp, Google Glass, Fuyao Glass, NSG Group and Veiw Inc among others.
In June 2020, Google Glass acquired North which is a Canadian smart glasses company, to drive the Google Glass product forward, making it a product for developers and businesses.
The European region dominates the smart glass market due to the increasing usage and demand of smart glasses from the building and construction sectors.
Growing applications in the transport industry are producing a tremendous market growth for smart glass. Smart glasses mounted in cars are estimated to have UV protection and solar reduction to make the cabins of vehicles more comfortable.
Rising technological advancement and increasingly installing electrochromic windows owing to their security and luxury factors in airplanes are anticipated to boost the use of smart glass in the upcoming years.
Increasing use of other passive glasses due to their structure, such as thermochromic and photochromic glass to monitor the infrared light waves is also estimated to drive the smart glass market growth.
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