As more products find their way from commercial to residential spaces, one challenge facing door and window companies includes the need for installing credentialed access control on frameless glass openings.

“Predominantly, commercial office space is glass,” explains Jeff Graveline, who is in architectural hardware sales at Accurate Lock and Hardware. “Everyone wants an access control system, but the lingering question is how do you wire that? How do you put wires into glass? That’s the next challenge.”

Graveline says manufacturers need to recognize the problem and offer solutions. One option includes hiding components in door levers. Batteries also offer an answer, but they’re not elegant enough, he suggests, especially when end users want to blend minimalism with refinement.

“There is some utility to battery packs,” says Graveline. “But form-wise, they’re terrible. The solution with the components is a great one. More of those ideas are needed.”

Transportation of all-glass doors is also an issue for companies new to utilizing these products. F. Barkow Inc. has sought to simplify the process with more mobile solutions, such as a recently released slide-out glass carrier. According to company president John Weise, the slide-out platform can be welded to the bed of a pickup truck or van, where it holds up to 1,000 lbs. retracted and up to 700 lbs. fully extended. The carrier is 94 inches long and about 60 inches tall. It features five rows of B-load-holding slates, glass cushions, a caulk holder and a tool trough, along with a neoprene rubber baseplate with a double row of stake slots, among others.

“This is our 144th year in business, so I like to think that I know what we are doing,” Weise says.

With glass partition walls finding their way into homes to create separation for work areas and home offices, privacy glass has also become an option for blocking out views. At the recent GlassBuild America show in Atlanta, Privacy Glass Solutions (PGS) displayed its recently released Clarity View switchable glass, which can also be used for entry doors. CEO and founder Kevin Roth says the technology allows quick and seamless transitions from opaque to transparent.

“Clarity View is a switchable glass that is done with a battery,” he explains. “The battery will work for about 300 days before it needs to be changed. It works on anything up to 10 square feet [in size] at the moment.”

As the market for privacy glass grows, prices continue to be a sticking point. With any new technology, it takes time for costs to moderate, Roth suggests, and that can be detrimental for smaller companies. Among his company’s newest products are PolarShield and Clarity Wave. PolarShield is an ultraviolet (UV)-activated film that changes from transparent to dark when exposed to (UV) rays. Clarity Wave is a hand-gesture-controlled switchable glass that uses sensors to detect hand movements.

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