The conference, which was open only to licensees of Research Frontiers, was attended by over 50 representatives from 22 companies headquartered in eight countries in North America, Asia and Europe.
In formal presentations at the Conference, Air Products and Chemicals, Dainippon Ink and Chemicals, and Hitachi Chemical Company, each described their SPD materials development and testing programs in great detail. Very attractive SPD films made from new emulsions produced by Dainippon Ink and Chemicals and Hitachi Chemical Company were also demonstrated at the conference. These latest SPD light-control film products have wide applicability in SPD-Smart architectural, automotive, aircraft and marine windows, as well as in instantly adjustable variable tint eyewear such as sunglasses or ski goggles. The new second-generation emulsion-based SPD films all have very low haze levels (approximately one-third to one-fifth the haze levels of switchable windows currently on the market today).
SPD light-control films made by the emulsion produced by these three companies not only have extremely clear optical properties, but also have wide ranges of light transmission that permit the film to go from nearly as clear as an ordinary window to approximately seven times darker than the dark window tints commonly found on glass office buildings. Switching speed for SPD films is a fast 1-3 seconds, and these materials are durable, having successfully been subjected to up to several thousand hours of high-intensity exposure under accelerated weathering conditions. As part of their conference presentations, these companies indicated that they expect SPD films made from these high-performance emulsions to become available to end-product licensees of Research Frontiers as early as next month.
In addition to the presentation of new SPD emulsions and films, Laminated Technologies' LTI Smart Glass division presented the capabilities of their two state-of-the-art production facilities, expansion plans, and latest product and service offerings, and gave an overview of the SPD production process for making laminated SPD-Smart glass and plastic panels for various product applications.
They were followed by a presentation from international electronics textbook author and Research Frontiers Director, Albert P. Malvino, Ph.D. Dr. Malvino discussed the latest electronic control systems for SPD-Smart windows for a variety of project installations, ranging from residential projects to commercial projects such as the SPD-Smart windows currently being used at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center to those being considered for convention centers and hotels where it is desirable to control large areas of SPD-Smart glass with a single controller. Dr. Malvino also discussed with individual licensees solutions to their customers' requirements for various existing automotive and architectural smart window projects. Dr. Malvino's presentation concluded with the demonstration of a small, elegant electronic control box that permits both automatic (through use of a photocell) and manual adjustment (using a dimmer switch or remote control device) of SPD windows of any type or size. SPD windows in the fully-powered clear state using some of these patent pending electronic designs can use less than 0.03 watts per square foot and can even optimize themselves for the size and type of SPD-Smart window being used. SPD windows use no power in their fully-tinted "off" state.
A series of presentations of industry trends, market development programs, initiatives and ideas were also presented to the group by various speakers. New flat and curved SPD-Smart aircraft, marine and architectural windows were presented by InspecTech Aero Service and LTI Smart Glass.
"I was delighted to see the SPD industry assemble in such force in one place for the first time," commented Joseph M. Harary, President of Research Frontiers. "New licensees such as Pilkington, SmartGlass Ireland, Prelco and DuPont, who only became licensees earlier this month, attended the conference, as did many of the key licensees who adopted SPD technology during the past few years. Large companies and smaller ones joined together as a collective industry to collaborate, share ideas, discuss issues of mutual importance, and help each other succeed. The level of energy, commitment, and skill by our licensees devoted to producing and marketing SPD-Smart materials, films and end products, was astounding. Strategic relationships were forged and solidified at the conference, which will help all of our licensees become more successful at making and selling SPD-Smart products."