If you’re a follower of any of the tech shows then you’ll know that giants like Samsung and LG have had a stab at producing products like smart screens or smart displays for use in the home or for commercial projects. Whilst they have looked good on first impressions, they have never really made that much of an impact outside the tech shows. I know I haven’t seen one yet.

I think the problem lies in the fact that when it comes to making smart glass displays, companies aren’t exactly kings in the market in the way dedicated glass companies are. When it comes to phones, tablets and other gadgets they’re top of the pile, but dealing with just glass, not so. But this is where companies like Pilkington could jump start the niche.

Pilkington MirroView

It’s advertised as “Available soon” on Pilkington’s website, but their new product called MirroView aims to bring smart glass technology properly into the home and to be used in commercial spaces.

This is how the MirroView is going to work, according to Pilkington:

Pilkington MirroView™ is ideal for concealing digital displays and video screens for commercial and residential applications.

When the screen is turned ‘off’ Pilkington MirroView™ maintains a mirrored appearance, which conceals the screen. When the screen is turned ‘on’ the picture on the video screen shows through.

Pilkington MirroView™ is very durable and can be easily handled, transported and processed, including toughening and laminating. Due to the durability of the pyrolytic coating, it does not degrade over time, which gives the product a virtually unlimited shelf-life.

Pilkington MirroView™ 50/50 offers the same qualities as the original product, yet it is designed for use in applications with high ambient light.

Available in large stock sizes, which can conceal one or multiple displays.

Pilkington shows MirroView off in a bathroom environment in their online literature:


So, off for a mirror, on for a screen. Looking at Pilkington’s literature and images, it looks like the screen option will allow you to use MirroView as a TV, a computer screen or just to display images. Giving it more than one function when it’s on is important. How it work is you have a TV screen placed behind the MirroView product, which when turned off acts as a normal mirror, when turned on, acts as your screen.

Here’s how Pilkington showed it off at DSE 2015:

A way in for installers

Smart screens from the tech giants may be struggling due to the fact that the route to installation is a bit unknown. A homeowner wouldn’t really know where to buy one, or whether they could install it or would need to get someone to do it.

But a company like Pilkington already has a network of fabricators and then further down the chain, installers, who they could make this product available to. This gives installation companies a way in to start advertising the fact that they sell and install MirroView.

Whether this sort of product would be a big seller for installers in the residential market is another question however. I can see this sort of product working well in the more extravagant, luxury home market. But I think in reality this is going to work best in the commercial environment. Things like shop fronts, big multi-section displays etc. Areas where shops can show off videos of products, or show live feeds of TV channels while people browse in store.

Either way, I think it will be a good niche product to have in the wider portfolio, and help kick start the smart screen market which in reality should already be established.

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