Published On: Sun, Jun 8th, 2014

Gadget-crazy society will influence the window industry of the future

smart homeIn today’s gadget-crazy society we are becoming obsessed with the next must-have piece of technology. Any gadget junkie would surely have run an inquisitive eye over the recent display of futuristic gizmos in Google House, Google’s house of the future. Ladened with high-tech devices, the Central London house demonstrated what lies ahead for occupants of a house dictated to by the developers of Google. Being driven by apps and treated to a constant flow of information and media, the house presented an environment that would offer the ultimate in gadgetry. It sharply brought into focus today’s undeniable appetite for seeking out and learning about what the future holds. The importance of being able to predict future market trends is often the holy grail of product designers and developers. Recent product developments in our own industry have given rise to a fresh impetus and tempered the public’s view of the window industry. We are now often referred to as a welcome solution to a problem, perfectly demonstrated by a recent BBC report on the impact of installing double-glazed windows on enhancing the energy efficiency of a house.

It is perhaps an ideal time to look into the future and see what technologies we can expect to see in the window industry. Only last month the Building Research Establishment unveiled its updated house of the future. Initially built over 15 years ago, the future-focused Integer House has undergone an extensive retrofit and has been renamed the Smart House. In the project, two distinct areas stood out that may have a significant bearing on products the fenestration sector offers to a market of the future. Firstly, back in 1998 the large conservatory attached to the house was billed as a relaxing outdoor-style environment. In 2013 and beyond it will represent the biggest source of energy for the house as the glass panels now incorporate a sophisticated PV system. Secondly, the way occupants enter the house has been enhanced by the adoption of a front door that showcases new-generation electronic locking, including a car-style remote key. Of the two technologies, the entry system is the more readily available one at present and has been developed here in the UK by a number of leading lock manufacturers.

On a global scale there are also systems that grab the attention. Of particular note is the wireless technology that has been developed by KIWI (, a locking system which is operated from your smartphone. Another significant player with a product that has massive potential and scope for full smart house integration is Samsung with their Smart Lock. When electronic giants become involved in market sectors you just know they have the ability to drive the market and realise the full potential of their product. It’s always worth being aware of what’s just around the corner. Here’s to 2014 and beyond.