Clearview National October 2017 - Issue 191 - Page 78

GLASS&SEALEDUNITS Switchable Glass – Transforming Car Showrooms » » SEAN BROWN OF Intelligent Glass describes how the technology behind switchable glass is not only providing some useful solutions to problems, but also actually transforming premium car showrooms. Car showrooms are conventionally very stylish places. The open spaces, the clinical, ‘new car’ smells, the classy fixtures and interior design- a lot of time and effort goes into making this a premium environment. Switchable glass complements car showrooms perfectly, and indeed Intelligent Glass, the UK-based supplier of switchable glass, has an illustrious history with premium car showrooms and manufacturers. They have been called upon to help promote some of the world’s most luxurious cars, working with notable brands such as Rolls- Royce, Jaguar Land Rover and Mercedes. Switchable glass serves as an ideal solution to a number of requirements car showrooms may have, from car displays to product launches, and Intelligent Glass offers a wide array of potential solutions that could serve general or specific needs. What makes switchable glass so special is its use of PDLC technology to offer users instant, controllable privacy at the press of a button. The glass changes state from frosted to clear, transforming it into a rear projection capable privacy screen, partition or even window. Recent applications have seen switchable technology used to merchandise new launches, notably Jaguar Land Rover, who used it to launch the F-Type, and Rolls-Royce, who used it to launch the Dawn. By combing switchable technology with a projection application, you can use two of the most coveted features of switchable glass to maximum effect. But it doesn’t stop there. Intelligent Glass also offers its screens as touch- compatible too, meaning you can make use of an interactive rear projection switchable screen that engages audiences like never before. Jaguar Land Rover used the rear projection aspect of switchable technology on a grand scale, opting to install a large panelled switchable wall as a stage backdrop, unveiling the new vehicle behind it at will. This was a fantastic application that was used effectively to build anticipation, creating an environment of excitement as the launch presentation draws closer to the unveiling. Projecting large images onto the wall, Jaguar Land Rover was able to enforce the power and scale of their launch while at the same time, focusing their audience’s attention on the exact location in which the car will be revealed. In a true stroke of genius, Jaguar Land Rover utilised a technological limitation to its benefit, by maintaining a projected image of the Jaguar and F-Type logos after the car had been unveiled, the clear- state switchable glass creates a holographic styled ‘overlay’ that becomes more prominent when you position yourself on either side of the screen, as the natural PDLC perspective haze of the screen intensifies. This ensured that there was never any wasted 78 » OCT 2017 » CL EARVI E W- UK . C O M space, as the logos were always being displayed, without them interfering with the visibility of the car behind the screen. Rolls -Royce opted for a slightly more engaging approach in launching the Dawn, by partnering up with the world- famous, London-based store, Harrods. Building a switchable screen into Harrod’s display window proved to be an immensely powerful launch tool. Making the launch all the more anticipated, they projected a countdown onto the screen, offering passers-by an insight into how long they need to wait for the car to display, increasing the chances of them stopping to experience it. People were able to pass freely, only gathering to witness the next time-sensitive unveiling. These crowd gatherings only served to increase the chances of catching the attention of passers-by. This installation attracted a large amount of attention from the general public, appearing on social media and being featured in a number of magazines and online articles. Mercedes have turned to multiple applications of switchable glass in recent years, mainly focused around the customer experience and customer journey. Car showrooms in particular can benefit from such technology by using it to express scale and quality. For example, by installing a panelled switchable wall in the showroom, salespeople are able to use it as a tool to aid the sales process. Hiding a car behind such a wall offers them the chance to truly ‘wow’ their customers, putting the first impressions of the sales team, as well as the car, in the best possible light. Unveiling a car to a customer after purchase or upon colle ction is also a nice touch, building anticipation and again, putting the customer in a positive frame of mind, with the customer experience serving as a representation of the quality of the product purchased. Mercedes have also pioneered switchable glass in the automotive industry as part of an innovative and engaging information display. Using switchable technology in this application serves various uses, maximising the effectiveness of the investment by utilising some of its multiple features. Using the joysticks, users are able to navigate their way through the information being projected onto the screen, and when the user journey requires it, the screen is able to switch its state automatically to reveal the feature display behind it. The exciting thing about these applications is, that while they may be innovative, creative and stimulating, they simply scratch the surface in what switchable glass is capable of. Recent product developments from Intelligent Glass have seen their switchable range expand to new specialist solutions, including sound insulating switchable glass, fire- resistant switchable glass and even voice- activated switchable glass. In fact, the applications of this technology are limited only by your imagination.