Honda patent predicts the future of window shades

You may not think of window shades as a particularly high-tech item. Honda is apparently thinking about changing that notion. A patent filed by Honda shows a rather interesting idea: rather than employing a tinted film that goes in place permanently or stowable fabric shades, the patent shows windows with some type of surface that can adjust the amount of light it lets in. Imagine something like Transitions lenses for glasses, or the Smart Glass sunroof on the Mercedes-Maybach S600, which you can see demonstrated at the bottom of this post.

What takes the idea a step further is touch controls and adjustability. The patent drawing illustrates how a passenger could decide how much of the window needs shading by simply dragging a finger along the glass to the desired point. This would be very useful on any side window in the car to give passengers, and even the driver, some shielding from the sun when not driving straight into it. The one downside we can see is the accumulation of finger prints and smudges on the interior glass (which would be especially bad on the windshield). But the benefits could outweigh that annoyance. Or perhaps this would be a good feature to use gesture controls on.

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