One of the most common improvements to a car is the addition of window tinting. The tinted windows have several benefits for vehicle occupants, such as protect drivers from the glare of the sun and also protect their privacy. However, these tints are typically static, which reduces the visibility of the driver in the dark, low light, and night situations. Reduced visibility, in turn, can create potentially dangerous situations and can lead to car accidents.
Apple wants to solve this problem through dynamic tinting. In a recently discovered patent, titled “Systems with adjustable windows,” it seems like Apple is studying the composition of car windows that could be adjusted to help protect passenger privacy or change the shade of protection in bright environments. It can tint and change its darkness and opacity, depending on the time of day.
Apple is currently investigating the possibility of achieving this with a series of layers inside the glass. It can be challenging to incorporate light modifying structures such as frosted surfaces and mirror coatings into windows. If care is not taken, windows may be too reflective, maybe insufficiently transparent for viewing, or may have other undesired attributes.
“Adjustable window layers may be incorporated into a window with one or more transparent structural layers such as a pair of glass window layers. Adjustable components such as adjustable reflectivity layers, adjustable haze layers, and adjustable tint layers may be interposed between the pair of glass window layers. Fixed partially reflective mirrors, fixed tint layers, and/or fixed haze layers may be used in place of adjustable tint, haze, and reflectivity layers and/or maybe incorporated into windows in addition to adjustable tint, haze, and reflectivity layers,” the patent description reads.
It also seems that Apple patent, discovered by AppleInsider, wants to cover both vehicles and buildings with frosted surfaces or mirror coatings to enhance privacy. Apple’s solution may be to have a roof, driver-adjustable front, and side windows. It is also possible that once this adjustment possibility is included in the car, it can be controlled by automation. Just like many modern cars will start their wipers in the rain, Apple’s car could proactively tint the glass in, particularly bright environments.
We can’t say if this is something Apple will actually implement in reality, but it does sound like an amazing idea.