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创新玻璃有望淘汰百叶窗

2014-04-10    来源:fortunechina    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

硅谷View公司生产一种办公用玻璃,可以随着阳光强度的变化自动调节明暗。这种“动态”玻璃中含有纳米技术层,厚度是一根头发丝直径的1/50。日光变强烈时会通过电流调节,使得玻璃中的离子改变位置,从而阻挡强烈的日照。这样,“关上百叶窗挡视线,开着百叶窗太刺眼”的难题就迎刃而解了。

When the afternoon sun starts pouring into your office window you have two choices -- either draw the shade and lose your view or keep it open and swelter for the rest of the day. A recent study by the Urban Green Council revealed that at any time 59% of windows in New York City are covered by blinds.
当午后的阳光开始从窗户涌入办公室,你有两个选择——要么拉下百叶帘,失去视野;要么听之任之,在太阳的炙烤中度过这一天。城市绿色委员会(Urban Green Council)近期的一项调查显示,任何时候纽约市都至少有59%的窗户拉下了百叶帘。

If a Silicon Valley startup has its way, you might soon be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. View of Milpitas, Calif., makes office glass that automatically dims with the intensity of the sun. This "dynamic" glass contains nanotech layers in the glass 1/50 the width of a human hair. As the sun intensifies it regulates an electric current that makes the ions in the glass shift positions, blocking the intensity of the light.
如果硅谷的这家初创企业真的有一手,大家也许很快就能两全其美。加州米尔皮塔斯这家名为View的公司生产一种办公室用玻璃,可以随着阳光的变强自动转暗。这种“动态”玻璃中含有纳米技术层,厚度是一根头发丝直径的1/50。日光变强烈时会通过电流调节,使得玻璃中的离子改变位置,从而阻挡强烈的日照。

"These windows not only make occupants happier," Says CEO Rao Mulpuri, an entrepreneur with a Ph.D. in material science from Boston University, "but also save energy." Although the self-tinting glass can add 2% to 3% to the construction cost of a building, Mulpuri claims that owners will save more than enough to make up for it. He says that a building owner can slice his air conditioning bills by as much as 20% plus save on not having to buy window shades.
公司CEO、拥有波士顿大学(Boston University)材料科学博士学位的企业家拉奥•马尔普里说:“这些窗户不仅能让办公室用户更加心满意足,同时还可以节能。”虽然这种自着色玻璃会让一栋大楼的建设成本增加2%到3%,但马尔普里称,业主们省下来的钱用来覆盖这些成本绰绰有余。他说,一名大楼业主最多可节省20%的制冷电费,同时还能省下购买百叶帘的开支。

The glass, which is made in the company's factory in Olive Branch, Miss., is already being used by organizations such as NASA, SAP Labs, San Francisco International Airport, The Marine Corps, and Hilton Hotels & Resorts.
这种玻璃产自这家公司在密西西比州奥利夫布兰奇的工厂,已经为美国宇航局(NASA)、Sap Labs、旧金山国际机场(San Francisco International Airport)、美国海军陆战队(The Marine Corps)以及希尔顿酒店及度假村(Hilton Hotels & Resorts)等机构或公司所采用。

Dan Pickett, a partner at Moody Nolan, an architecture firm in Columbus, Ohio, is using View's dynamic glass in two buildings. He believes that the energy savings "will be dramatic." One of Pickett's projects is a new 39,000 square foot office building for Century Link, a real estate investment firm in Dayton, Ohio. Says Pickett: "One of the aesthetic reasons we chose the glass is that my client and I objected to the idea of mini blinds in various states of open or closed. View's glass completely eliminates that issue."
丹•皮克特是俄亥俄州哥伦布建筑公司穆迪-诺兰(Moody Nolan)的一名合伙人,他正将View的动态玻璃应用到两座建筑中。他相信节能效果“将非同凡响”。皮克特的项目之一是为俄亥俄州代顿的房地产投资公司Century Link兴建一座39,000平方英尺的新办公大楼。皮克特说:“之所以选择这种玻璃,一个审美上的原因是:我和客户都很反感一眼望去全是或开或合、千姿百态的百叶帘的景象,而View的玻璃完全消除了这个问题。”

A lot of companies have tried self-tinting glass and failed -- the technology is tricky to manufacture at scale. But View seems to have the secret sauce, or at least that's what investors such as Corning, GE, and Khosla Ventures believe, who have contributed to the more than $300 million that the company has raised so far.
不少公司都尝试过自着色玻璃,但最后都以失败告终——这种技术在规模化生产时往往难以搞定。但View似乎掌握了秘密配方——至少,康宁(Corning)、通用电气(GE)和Khosia Ventures等投资方是这样认为的。这家公司截至目前已经募集了3亿多美元的资金,其中就有前面这些公司的参与。

And besides, the market potential is huge. Mulpuri calculates that window glass is a 25 billion square foot annual market, and he thinks that in the long run View can capture 10% of that -- an estimated $100 billion opportunity.
另外,市场潜力不可小觑。据马尔普里计算,窗玻璃市场规模达到每年250亿平方英尺(约合23亿平方米)。而他认为,长期来看,View可以占领其中的10%——也就是约1,000亿美元的市场机遇。

As of yet, no other major competitors on are the horizon, but even though View has patents, how long before efficient manufacturers such as the Chinese get into the game?
截至目前还没有其他大型竞争者出现。尽管View拥有专利,但高效率生产商(如中国制造商)的进入还要得了多久呢?

But until that happens Mulpuri has a clear view ahead.
不过,在那之前,马尔普里的前景依然分外明朗。(财富中文网)



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