SONTE Wants You To Be a Part of the (Wi-Fi) Film Industry

If the folks at SONTE have their way, the company’s new Kickstarter project is going to be curtains for the window treatment industry. Or, rather, it won’t be curtains…or shades. That’s because SONTE is developing a smart-film technology that can be changed from non-transparent to transparent by applying an electric current through it. Unlike “smart glass” in which the color-changing material is embedded in the glass pane itself, SONTE’s smart-film uses a self-adhesive cling layer – making it essentially a peel-and-stick installation process, much like other DIY window-tinting films – that enables it to be used on almost any glass surface. Once the film is stuck to the glass, a Wi-Fi-enabled transformer (and requisite power supply) gets connected to the film; and, viola!, you’ve got an IP-addressed window treatment that’s ready to use with a variety of Wi-Fi-based remote controls, dedicated iOS/Android apps, and home automation systems.

I first became aware of SONTE during a hasty, random walk through the 2013 CES Eureka Park Tech Zone. After the many months since, I still think it was one of the most exciting and promising things I saw at CES. Of course, it wasn’t a finished product then – and still isn’t. There were several improvements I’d like to see (or not to see, as the case may be). First of all, with the film applied to the glass, there is a slight transmission loss in the light passing through. Second, the opaqueness of the film isn’t 100 percent when in its non-transparent state. Finally, at the moment, transparency is either on or off. The level of opacity is not variable. None of those issues, however, would hold me back from using SONTE’s Wi-Fi-enabled film on many of the windows in my home. I can see it being especially useful on my sliding glass patio doors, as well as the windows in my home theater room. (One of the cooler aspects of SONTE’s film is that it can be cut to fit any size or shape and multiple film sections can be electrically linked to operate on larger windows as one large film.)

While exact pricing wasn’t (and still hasn’t) been announced, SONTE’s intention is to create a DIY product, with all that entails, including affordability. On April 18th, SONTE launched a Kickstarter project to fund full-scale production and a market launch. According to SONTE’s Kickstarter page:

Our reason for starting this project is simple: curtains have been around for thousands of years without much improvement. There are some nice ideas like motorized shades or smart glass, however, take up of these products have been very low due to their high cost and complex installation. With SONTE Film, we want to revolutionize the industry of windows and curtains. Our goal is to make an expensive technology affordable for everyone.

Since I don’t have any personal experience with the SONTE crew other than my ten-minute conversation with Bernard Kwan, SONTE’s co-founder, I can’t vouch for and endorse the management/development team. All I can do is say that I hope the project succeeds, because I think it’s a fantastic idea. And, although I didn’t know it before CES, I have a couple of windows that have been crying out for a smart-film window treatment…

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COMMENTS
notabadname's picture

This is an awesome concept. I like contemporary homes, and hate curtains. But until this can be 100% opaque AND block about 50% of light transmitted, it serves little or no practical,application. As pictured above, this would be useless for reducing glare while watching TV in a family room. The room is essentially the same brightness.

SONTE's picture

Hi,

Thanks for your support and comment.

SONTE Film has progressed since CES and is currently able to block out more than 70% of light.

Cheers,

SONTE Team

notabadname's picture

Thanks for the response. Some images, that better represent the room darkening capability would be great, the top image of this article does not represent such a capability, at least in my opinion. Very excited about this product's potential.

SONTE's picture

Dear All,

We just wanted to let you know that after a lengthy discussion within our team, we have decided to relaunch our campaign for a few reasons. We want to change a) our marketing strategy; and b) our rewards structure to better serve our backers. For instance, we have been receiving a lot of queries as to whether a backer can pledge for multiple films (which is currently not allowed in our Kickstarter category).

We will be pulling our campaign shortly and will relaunch soon.

Thank you for support and we will keep you informed of our progress and relaunch date.

Best regards,

Bernard

Co-founder
SONTE

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