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Business

Asahi Glass partner to produce smart glass in Taiwan

US company to build $100m plant

TAIPEI -- Kinestral Technologies, a U.S.-based partner of Japan's Asahi Glass, will invest $100 million to begin Taiwanese production of its glass that can change color through use of electrical currents.

A subsidiary of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry will assist in setting up production and sales in China. Plant construction will begin as early as March in Miaoli County in northwestern Taiwan, and product sales are scheduled to kick off in early 2018. Kinestral will use funds procured from such investors as Asahi Glass.

Kinestral's Halio-brand glass can change from transparent to colors such as dark gray using electrical currents that pass through a special film inserted between glass panels. The color can be controlled using a device such as a smartphone. Since the glass shuts out heat, it also helps conserve energy. The Japanese glass maker is extensively involved in Kinestral's business, with a hand in areas such as sales and technology development.

"The growth in the market for smart-tint glass was led by the U.S., but we also want to develop the European and Chinese markets," said an executive in the building and industrial division of Asahi Glass.

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