G-SMATT Media GlassOver the past four years G-SMATT Co. Ltd. has been developing and refining G-SMATT Media Glass. It has now brought that technology to Europe starting G-SMATT Europe Media Limited in Oxford earlier this year. In simplest terms, the product is an architectural grade glass with LED display properties. However, this simple explanation belies the transformational nature of this technology.
We are moving rapidly to a wireless broadband, always connected, Internet of Things enabled, smart city architecture. Our digital cityscape is set to change beyond all recognition in the next 20 years. A multiplicity of systems will be generating data on the health and status of our Smart Cities and their citizens, but generation of information is only part of the smart city story. For it to be useful information must be processed and presented. There will be many different processing systems, AI’s, human and AI mediated big data trend analysis, small scale “on-board” device processing of data and inevitably pure human processing of data. Processed, relevant, timely and in some cases, personalised information then needs to be presented to citizens. Inevitably much of this data will be available through mobile devices and these will doubtless be a mainstay of communicating with the digital city. However, increasingly large media facades will provide a powerful new way of communicating information.
What Makes G-SMATT Media Glass Different?
A media façade can be defined as any large architectural surface installed building structure capable of displaying media. G-SMATT Media Glass is unique in that it provides:
- The durability and resilience of an architectural grade material
- Full transparency
- Rich media display capabilities
As an architect, there is no need to compromise on the architectural beauty of your design to install a media display capability with G-SMATT Media Glass.
G-SMATT Media Glass Structure
G-Glass is a laminated glass product. It is composed of a 4mm base glass coated in fluorine tin oxide (FTO) which is both conductive and transparent. We laser etch circuitry onto the FTO surface layer and then attach the LEDs at precise positions. The cover glass is placed onto the assembly. It can be any type of glass but typically it will be a heat soaked, tempered 6mm glass allowing the finished unit to be rated as a safety glass. A resin is precisely poured between the plates and hardened using UV light. The finished assembly is connected to drivers hidden in an aluminium frame by flexible printed circuit boards (FPCBs) and is then connected to DVI controllers and an external power source. The controllers determine the orientation of the panels and how video files will be played across a series of glass windows.
When you think of a media façade, the first image that comes to mind is probably the iconic depiction of the Coca Cola advert on the side of a building in the 1982 Ridley Scott epic “Blade Runner”. Advertising is doubtless going to be a big feature of these media facades but not the only feature and arguably, not the most important. At G-SMATT Europe we envisage our media facades will be used for a range of activities that will truly transform the digital cityscape.
Projection of Identity
For many brands it can be difficult to project what you do into the community. A media façade provides you with a powerful new way to do this. At the Myungbo art hall in Seoul (right) they regularly display dynamic art that is being created inside the art hall. This allows them to project what they do out into the community and reach people who otherwise might never enter the gallery to interact with the art. In a sense, the art hall itself becomes a representation of the building’s purpose.
This can work on many levels. For Chinese New Year 2016 we created an app for mobile devices that allowed people to throw digital fireworks onto the side of a buildings. However, there are many other things we can do with the technology; we can react to sound, movement, weather all of which may change the content displayed. With ubiquitous mobile app penetration, we could even react to the presence of certain people allowing us to personalise messaging. Architectural gaming could allow tribe formation around installations leading to commercial regeneration in an area.
Digital City Integration
The media façade could display weather forecasts, local parking status, emergency information and transportation information to name but a few.
Classical and more dynamic forms of advertising including branded applications (clocks sponsored by companies like Tag Heuer for instance)
A sophisticated media façade allows an architect to create an aesthetically beautiful design using both physical form and light as a medium. His building can now change colour throughout the day, play with perspective to create stunning visual illusions and merge more seamlessly into its environment.
We are fortunate to be a first entrant into a market which will significantly alter our digital cityscapes. It will transform them into a grand canvas and only our imaginations will limit the beauty and usefulness that we can bring to our urban environments.
G-SMATT has production facilities in Seoul and Tianjin, China
We have sophisticated production facilities in both Korea and China that give us a significant production capacity. Assembly and testing of G-SMATT media glass happens in these facilities.
We also produce our G-Tainer frames and accessories under license in the United Kingdom. G-SMATT media glass, along with G-Tainer frames, comply with the appropriate European standards, so they're safe and reliable to use.
G-SMATT currently holds 17 patents that cover our media Glass products. Innovation is part of our DNA and we're continually working on ways of improving our products.