SK Holdings invests $100 million in smart glass firm

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SK Holdings invests $100 million in smart glass firm

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An example of a room before, above, and after windows are tinted dark using Kinestral Technologies’ energy-saving glass. [SK HOLDINGS]

SK Holdings will invest $100 million in California-based energy-saving glass manufacturer Kinestral Technologies in a bid to start a smart glass business, the company said Wednesday.

The investment grants SK the right to manufacture and sell smart glass in China, it said.

Kinestral makes smart-tinting glass called Halio. Customers can adjust the color and transparency of the glass to control how much natural light is let through.

The tinted glass can reduce glare and heat inside buildings, and also cut costs spent on controlling room temperature by roughly 30 percent, SK said. It added the tinted glass can block 99 percent of ultraviolet rays as well, in statement.

SK’s investment comes not only because the glass is energy-saving, though. The holding company of the Korean conglomerate said it sees big business potential in applying Internet of Things technology to smart glass.

Smart glass can be linked with security and building-management systems when connected with the internet and controlled remotely. The glass can also be used in vehicles.

Global market tracker Research and Markets projected earlier this month that the global smart glass market accounted for $3.12 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $14.24 billion by 2026, growing at an average 18.3 percent annually.

The research firm said huge adoption in the transportation sector, the need for energy-efficient solutions and declining prices of the electro chromic materials used in the glass are some of the factors bolstering market growth, though there are still technical issues to be figured related to performance and high costs.

SK said Kinestral, founded in 2010, is one of three global companies with the capability to produce smart glass and that it has a competitive edge in tinting speeds.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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