Glass gets smarter; and gets used for more purposes in homes.

Wall Street Journal contributor Leigh Kamping-Carter reports on residential trends around using different varieties of so-called smart glass, that can keep out prying eyes, regulate room temperature or conceal televisions.

The trend is one of those imported from commercial and industrial workplaces, as homeowners demand the technology as well. Kamping-Carter writes of one example:

Switchable privacy glass consists of two panels that sandwich a polymer-dispersed liquid-crystal film that conducts electricity. The glass is opaque—until the voltage is switched on, which causes the film’s particles to align, turning the glass transparent. The glass is used to divide or conceal rooms (an open-plan kitchen can vanish when guests are over) and can be hooked up to motion sensors (a shower door that turns opaque upon entering).

Read more >