The construction industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by an increased focus on environmental sustainability and workplace safety, and growing importance of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics as well as higher quality construction products and material. In the last three years alone, there have been over 425,000 patents filed and granted in the construction industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in construction: electrochromic slat blinds. Buy the report here.

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

80+ innovations will shape the construction industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the construction industry using innovation intensity models built on over 232,000 patents, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, robotic excavators, self-cleaning toilets, and smart waterproofing are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Sensor-integrated doors, eco-friendly HVACs, and automated slurry-blast tools are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is work vehicle cruise control, which is now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the construction industry

Electrochromic slat blinds is a key emerging innovation area in Internet of Things

Electrochromic slat blinds are a type of window covering that uses electrochromic material that can change its transparency when an electrical current is applied. The electrochromic material can be controlled to determine the amount of light to enter the room and in many cases, no power source is needed to control light saturation.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established construction companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of electrochromic slat blinds.

Key players in electrochromic slat blinds – a disruptive innovation in the construction industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to electrochromic slat blinds

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
View 151 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 88 Unlock Company Profile
Cardinal Glass Industries 67 Unlock Company Profile
KGIC Merger 15 Unlock Company Profile
AGC 14 Unlock Company Profile
RavenBrick 14 Unlock Company Profile
Furcifer 9 Unlock Company Profile
Halio 9 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Sheet Glass 7 Unlock Company Profile
Huntsman 7 Unlock Company Profile
Springs Window Fashions 6 Unlock Company Profile
AGC Glass Europe 5 Unlock Company Profile
STMicroelectronics 4 Unlock Company Profile
Kinestral Technologies 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

View is the leading patent filer in electrochromic slat blinds. View is one of the world leaders in glass manufacturing and smart glass using electrochromic technology. View's dynamic glass can give direct control of the amount of heat and lighting entering a building. One of View’s patents is for integrating the smart glass blind system into a building management system, which can allow for residential and commercial buildings to reduce energy waste and glare. Some other key patent filers include Saint-Gobain and Cardinal Glass Industries.

In terms of application diversity, Huntsman is the leader in the pack, followed by STMicroelectronics and Nippon Sheet Glass. By means of geographic reach, KGIC Merger held the top position, followed by RavenBrick and AGC.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the construction industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things (IoT) in Construction.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.