The latest domestic addition takes the form of window blinds.
Once simply used to keep sun from shining on those who want another 30 minutes of sleep, curtains take up a wide surface area, and deflect sunlight, but do little else. Considering the amount of real estate being used, a few researchers have taken it upon themselves to find way to make blinds a more integral part of the proper functioning of a house.
A team at the University of California, Berkeley have developed “smart curtains” made from fabric embedded with carbon nanotubes, which respond to light, automatically closing when the sun’s rays are strongest. The upshot of this new method is the fact that it requires no batteries, or operating systems, allowing for the ability to provide comfort and energy cost-savings just by reacting naturally to sun patterns.
Most “energy-efficient” buildings have complex, light activated shade systems, but without the nanotubes, the technology is expensive and prone to constant maintenance. Using superior materials forgoes the need to install and operate, leaving the important work to the curtains themselves. This lowers total energy demand, and consequently, your energy bill.
Although a small piece of the puzzle, these smart blinds are part of a very important concern. Currently, we spend much of our lives maintaining, as opposed to creating. Having appliances or features do the work for us, allows us to focus on more important things.
Blinds that react will save home and business owners both time and money, as well as help mitigate our effect on the environment. So until we all get our own “Rosie” from The Jetson’s, smart blinds are here to stay.