The future of electrical glass?

The NSG Group – owner of the UK glass supplier, Pilkington – has collaborated with the product design studio Cohda to create new, futuristic glass applications that deliver power to devices without the need for wires. The glass manufacturer will supply its NSG TEC electrically conductive glass to Cohda customers, which will combine the product with its Power-Tap (P-Tap) wireless power technology.

P-Tap technology allows electricity or data to be transferred wirelessly through a transparent conductive coating to power any device. It allows glass to act as a wire, transferring power through contact alone.

Mains electricity typically flows into the glass via a connection at the perimeter of the glass surface. This creates the positive and negative charge, which flows invisibly through individual layers within the conductive glass’ lamination and into any connected device placed on apertures, or contact points, on its surface.

The collaboration has applications for designers, architects and engineers to locate powered devices within transparent structures. Early applications have included retail, where in-store display stands can wirelessly charge electronic devices such as mobile phones and cameras; and in automotive, to power head-up display screens that are embedded in a vehicle’s windscreen. The product is scheduled to be available to the European market, including the UK.

Aderlan Vitalino, from NSG Group, said: “The collaboration with Cohda opens the door to new possibilities for innovation through glass, with potential applications across all industries. For example, in art galleries or museums, embedded LEDs can illuminate a glass display cabinet without aesthetically disruptive wires. In kitchens of the future, P-Tap technology can be installed in a clear glass counter, with power concentrated at various spots. This can provide induction heating for pans, power kitchen appliances such as kettles and toasters, and even charge your phone wirelessly, all on the same surface of glass.”

Richard Liddle, from Cohda, added: “NSG TEC electrically conductive glass is ideal for use with P-Tap technology. Thanks to its high light transmission, durability of the glass coating and potential for thermal treatment, the glass enables our technology to be used to meet a wide range of design challenges across different settings.”