Research Frontiers is the developer and licensor of patented VaryFast(TM) SPD-Smart(TM) light-control film technology.
This license represents a significant expansion of Pilkington’s SPD business. In 2004, Pilkington acquired a license from Research Frontiers to work with SPD technology to make laminated SPD-SmartGlass panels. During this development phase, Pilkington gained lamination expertise and also worked extensively with customers to co-develop SPD-Smart products that meet the needs and specifications of the automotive industry. With this new license, Pilkington now has the ability to offer SPD-Smart end-products including sunroofs, glass roof panels, adaptive sunvisors incorporated into a vehicle’s windscreen, and side and rear windows.
SPD-Smart automotive products are instantly tunable manually or automatically to any level of light transmission between clear and extremely dark - blocking more than 99.5% of incoming visible light. Due to its ability to block heat as well as visible light, SPD-SmartGlass can reduce vehicle interior heat build-up and thus cooling requirements. These eco-friendly products could also reduce the size of air conditioning systems and thus save weight, fuel and reduce CO2 emissions. Also, because they are in the most energy efficient state when the engine is off, the vehicle is cooler upon entering.
In addition to light, glare and heat control, SPD-Smart automotive products provide greater security due to their on-demand privacy capability, and protect passengers and interiors from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Award-winning SPD-Smart technology offers exceptionally innovative design opportunities and empowers users by providing rapid, real-time control over the environment to suit one’s preference or requirements.
The worldwide non-exclusive license grants Pilkington the right to manufacture and sell SPD-Smart automotive glass products globally. As part of the NSG Group, Pilkington is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of glass and glazing systems.
Speaking from the floor of the Frankfurt Motor Show, Joseph M. Harary, President and Chief Executive Officer of Research Frontiers Inc., noted: "Pilkington and their parent company, NSG Group, are among the most successful glass companies in the world, and have considerable experience in all types of high-end and functional glass products, including smart glass. They have a long and stellar history of bringing new and practical innovations to the glass industry and to their customers. Research Frontiers has invested over $75 million to develop high-performance light control with our SPD-Smart film technology. With Pilkington’s addition to our extensive list of licensees around the world, Research Frontiers’patented SPD-Smart light-control technology has now been licensed to virtually every major glass company in the world for the production of environmentally-friendly end-products."
"Our SPD teams in the UK, Germany, Japan and the US have been working closely and intensely with Research Frontiers and our lead OEM customer to introduce SPD-Smart end-products to the global automotive market," commented Anthony R. Shaw, Vice President Technology ?Automotive for Pilkington. "SPD technology is a high-performing technology that offers many distinctive performance, safety, comfort and energy-saving benefits desired by OEMs and their customers. We see exciting opportunities ahead in the very near future."