New ‘Smart Glass’ Turns Car Windows into Mobile Ad Displays

Wilbert Tan

A new tech developed by Israeli startup company Gauzy could transform car windows into mobile billboards. The startup is calling its tech ‘smart glass,’ an LCD-based display that can exhibit targeted, localized ads via car windows. As you can imagine, the tech has the potential to open up a whole new world of distracted driving risks.


Gauzy worked with Daimler-Benz, maker of the world-famous luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz, to develop its automotive visual screens. “This is actually the first time that a car window is no longer just a car window, it’s also a full-blown display that can be used for smart messaging,” Gauzy co-founder and CEO Eyal Peso said.

How smart glass works

Gauzy’s smart glass uses paper-thin LCDs that are bonded to the window glass, and powered by the vehicle’s own electrical system. Smart glass is clear and see-through when the car is on, but turns opaque when the vehicle is turned off. Additionally, you can use them as high-definition television screens when the vehicle is in ‘Park.’

With smart glass, the car transforms into a video display via a projector and controller that connects to the Internet to relay the car’s location and allow the glass to display location-based ads.

“That, for instance, can let passers-by know of nearby attractions, give you a lot of information,” said Peso. “It’s location-based of course. The car knows where it’s at, so it can promote information that is related and relevant to the location.”

To address possible safety issues, Gauzy said that their tech can only be applied to side and rear windows. The windshield remains a blank piece of automotive safety glass.

Not the first smart glass


According to Peso, glasses that go from clear to opaque is not a new type of technology. In fact, they have been in use for several years in advertisements for shops and luxury hotels. The difference is that this is the first time they’re being used for a road vehicle.

“Our vision for the technology as a display on a car window is vast,” Peso added. “Think of a car that is no longer only a car but is a medium to present information.”

Gauzy’s smart glass is ready for mass production. However, it may take a few years before people see them on the road. That’s because Gauzy expects its product to be subject to distracted driving regulations, as well as advertising rules.

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