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Smart glass joint venture formed

The technology enables glass to tint, reducing glare and blocking unwanted solar heat, automatically or on command

Halio smart glass looks like ordinary clear glass until it tints
Halio smart glass looks like ordinary clear glass until it tints

AGC Asahi Glass, a world-leading manufacturer of glass, chemicals, and high-tech materials, and Kinestral Technologies, maker of Halio smart-tinting glass, is creating three joint venture companies that will sell, distribute, and service Halio to the global market.


Formed to accelerate the adoption of Halio, the new ventures – Halio North America, Halio International, and Halio China – will be the exclusive sales and marketing agents for Halio smart-tinting glass in the commercial and residential housing industries.


Halio China includes a third partner: G-Tech Optoelectronics Corp. (GTOC), a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group. The three partners have been introducing Halio in their respective markets since the product was first unveiled in January at the BAU Trade Fair for Architecture, Materials and Systems in Munich, Germany. The joint ventures were formed to meet worldwide demand.


“Joining forces with AGC gives us access to a global sales and support infrastructure as well as decades of expertise in the use of glass in façades. GTOC meanwhile bolsters our manufacturing expertise and gives us access to China, one of the fastest-growing markets for smart-tinting glass,” said S B Cha, CEO of Kinestral Technologies.


Halio technology enables glass to tint, reducing glare and blocking unwanted solar heat – automatically or on command. Halio looks like ordinary clear glass until it tints, achieving its darkest shade in less than three minutes. Halio improves occupant comfort in smart homes and buildings while achieving the highest levels of energy efficiency.


A missing link to energy efficient buildings, homes and cities is high-tech smart tinting windows. The Smart Glass market is predicted to reach $9bn by 2020. On top of lowering energy costs by up to 40 per cent by reducing heat transmission, smart-tinting windows control glare and enhance natural light for physical and emotional wellness – better sleep, productivity and vitality.


Smart-tinting glass looks a lot like transition lenses, but is a completely different technology that puts the user in control. Operated by voice, manual controls or machine learning, the windows tint on demand.


“We are convinced that Halio technology is poised to transform the glass industry,” said Jean-François Heris, senior executive officer of AGC and president of AGC Building and Industrial Glass Company.


“Natural light is the number one most desired feature in office designs, but conventional glass requires blinds, shades, and awnings or architectural elements that block heat and glare. Halio gives people the best of the outdoors while meeting increasingly stringent energy codes.”


Jim Arnold, formerly senior vice president of sales at Control4 and DIRECTV, will lead Halio North America. Alain Jardinet, a veteran executive of AGC Glass Europe, will lead Halio International which will sell to all markets outside of North America and China. Halio China will be headed by Alex Jiang, an executive of GTOC.


Currently, 71 of the world’s tallest 100 buildings under construction are in Asia, and 79 of the 100 proposed highest buildings are in the planning stages there. Asia is literally rising to new heights, according to the Council on Tall Buildings.


Leading the construction boom is China. Of those 79 skyscrapers planned for Asia, 59 are in China alone. And by 2020, at least 50 per cent of those will be green, as prescribed by China’s Paris Agreement on Climate Change pledge. This commitment could have a dramatic impact on China’s sustainability goals since buildings consume 40 per of a city’s energy.


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