February 6, 2019
A Brief History of the Window and a Preview of Its Future!
What is the purpose of the window? The answer seems obvious: to let in light.
Let’s try an exercise: assuming it is daytime – look out of your nearest window. What do you see? If you are in most work spaces – there is a 60% + chance you will see blinds or shades blocking your view. Not a window with a view, and most definitely not natural light or the view to the outdoors.
The first recorded windows date back to the 13th century BC and were openings in the roof of dwellings to allow in natural light. Over time, these openings had coverings – many opaque, such as shutters. Yet as you look through history, materials such as paper, parchment, animal skin, and finally glass, were used to get the benefit of an open window without exposure to the elements. Humans are wired to be connected to the outdoors – even when the natural elements are not-so-friendly, such as cold, rain, heat, and glaring sun.
Humans not only want natural light, we need it for our health and wellness. Yet in modern times, we spend 90% of our time indoors – and often barricade ourselves from natural light and views of the outdoors with closed blinds. Workplace research shows the optimal amount of natural light that is free from glare reduces eyestrain by 51%, headaches by 63%, and drowsiness by 56%. It should come as no surprise that employees want more natural light – making it the top requested work perk. To take this a step further, 68% of employees say they would feel more valued if their employer considered providing the optimal amount of natural light in the workspace as a core amenity.
Going back to our history lesson – historically glass windows were not easy to create. In Alexandria, Egypt, the first recorded evidence of glass windows dated from 100 AD. Yet they had poor visibility and research showed they were nothing more than blown glass that was rapidly flattened out to make a window. It took another thousand years for glass windows to move forward in any significant way.
Strikingly, hundreds of years more would go by until the next great advance of the window. Meanwhile people continue to suffer through all the imperfections of the humble window – adding blinds, shades and all kinds of workarounds to make up for its shortcomings.
View took a Silicon Valley approach to challenge the way we think about the window. Why couldn’t they be smarter?
View Dynamic Glass windows let in the optimal amount of natural light and preserve views, while blocking unwanted glare and heat, which also improves the energy efficiency of buildings up to 20%.
A smart window is only as smart as its control system. For maximum occupant comfort, windows always need to be at the right tint without requiring manual intervention. That is why View invented the first and only predictive control system for dynamic glass, View Intelligence®. With Intelligence, your windows respond predictively with no occupant intervention, meaning occupants enjoy the views and daylight without lifting a finger.
With a recent major upgrade to Intelligence, our focus on occupant delight has never been so clear. Providing better predictive intelligence and increasing user control and customization makes a delightful space even more delightful.
The next big thing in building occupant experience is here - no blinds or shades required!