If you think tinted windows in your car are cool, wait until you get a load of this: RavenBrick, LLC has developed a “smart window” that automatically darkens to reduce the amount of light that passes through it when temps get hot.

Of course, this futuristic, smart-home technology isn’t just to impress the neighbors. Rather, it’s an innovation designed to block heat-gain in your home by automatically drawing the blinds, so to speak–whether you’re home or not. According to RedFerret, the RavenWindow can increase a building’s energy efficiency by up to 40%, simply by changing to a dark tint on hot, sunny days (and of course shifting back to neutral transparency as soon as the weather cools off).

image via RedFerret

While most smart home concepts rely on a whole lot of wires and electricity rigged up to sensors and computers, the RavenWindow simply makes use of thermoreflective filters coupled with nanotechnology to reduce the amount of heat taken on by buildings on hot days. It’s reported to be a cost-effective, easy-to-install window system that requires almost no maintenance, suitable for any building. Although they’re not commercially available yet, we take it as a good sign that RavenWindows are currently being installed at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.

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