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Windows that Transform into Mirrors [Video]

11 March 2011 No Comment

Imagine if all the windows in your house could become mirrors with just the press of a button. You wouldn’t need blinds, also the temperature of you home during summer could be significantly reduced. This could work for your car windows too; saving you the use of your AC on those days when you have to park in the boiling sun.

AIST is currently developing the technology to do this. These “switchable mirrors” can alternate with between a transparent state and a reflective state. This is achieved only with the use of hydrogen and oxygen gas. The reflective material used in the mirror is a shiny magnesium alloy that when exposed to hydrogen gas becomes transparent. The product of the reaction with hydrogen is a see-through alloy that becomes reflective again when exposed to the oxygen in air. The only bi-product of this reaction is water, making the process 100% environmentally friendly.

The main intended use of these mirrors is in office buildings to reduce the energy needed for cooling during summer. This could not only save money, but also significantly reduce emissions. According to Dr. Yasusei Yamada of AIST, the materials should cost only about $1.20 per square meter and the system is expected to be used within 5 years.

Photo credit: AIST

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