Alchemy secures partnership with Tint World to sell ExoShield at locations worldwide
After being on the market for only one year, Alchemy’s nanotechnology based product, ExoShield, is attracting a lot of attention for its ability to protect vehicles from expensive windshield damage. Alchemy has added over 100 retailers to their list of companies who carry their products. Their latest achievement has been securing a partnership with Tint World, allowing ExoShield to be offered in all 55 of their locations across North America and the Middle East.
ExoShield is a protective film for windshields to prevent stone chips and UV radiation. The product is impact resistant, scratch resistant, and durable when faced with the elements. ExoShield uses a nanotechnology-based coating that is applied on top of impact-resistant materials within a film. This means that the windshield film incorporates many tiny layers of impact and scratch resistant materials, to create a film that is strong and incredibly thin.
The protective film is also durable enough to last the lifetime of the vehicle. What makes ExoShield so unique is its high levels of optical clarity. The film does not interrupt vision and is very easy to maintain. Car cleaners and windshield washer fluid will not damage the film, so customers do not have to change any car care habits they might have.
“Alchemy began as Neverfrost- a fourth-year design project at the University of Waterloo,” said Khanjan Desai, CEO of Alchemy. “The idea came from the fact that the company’s founders had come from warmer climates and found it frustrating to scrape car windshields every morning in the winter. Originally, Alchemy had been developing a technology that would prevent frost from forming on a windshield.”
While developing the Neverfrost technology, the team realized that a film like this would need to have some protection around it to work properly. That is when they started designing a scratch and shatter resistant windshield film. Now that ExoShield is on the market, the team plans to continue to explore anti-frost technology as an additional feature to embed within their protective film.
Windshields are becoming more expensive to replace, especially in the last three years, with all of the advanced driver assist systems available on modern vehicles. Technologies like heads up display on windshields makes them more costly to replace and warrants safety issues when damaged. For example, replacing a windshield on a base model Toyota Corolla in 2016 would have cost the consumer $300, but in 2017-18 the windshield replacement costs increased to an average of $1,300- $1,700.
ExoShield is a cost effective solution in comparison to the cost of replacing a windshield with driver assistance technology, starting at $349 retail. With ExoShield, Alchemy is penetrating the high-end, luxury vehicle market to try and protect these driver assist systems found on cars in today’s market.
Alchemy is also working on technology to protect the larger variety of driver assist systems and sensors available now on vehicles and those projected to be available in the future. Self-driving vehicle sensors are already pretty widespread across the automobile market. Anti-collision sensors, blindspot detection, lane departure warnings, and other sensors on automobiles pose a huge safety risk to car passengers if they become damaged on the road by debris. For example, if a rock hits one of these sensors, the car may not be controllable. The probability of sensors being damaged by a rock is significant and has worse consequences than a windshield being hit. Alchemy is working with car manufacturers to incorporate their nanotechnology directly into these sensors to keep driver assistant systems safe and to help them become more reliable in varying climates. With these nano-coatings, the sensors would also become less susceptible to weather conditions found in colder places around the world.
“Self-driving cars have been in the news a lot lately,” said Khanjan. “A noteworthy article that speaks to a Tesla sensor failing after being hit by a rock emphasizes the problems that can occur with self-driving vehicles. Winter is a hostile environment for these sensors, so imagine what would happen if these sensors were covered with snow, frost, or rain.”
Continuing on their trajectory, this week, the company announced closing a $1.5 million round of funding to rev up sales and penetrate the fast-growing autonomous vehicles market.
In the near future, Alchemy plans on focusing on adapting their coatings for a variety of different applications. Autonomous sensors on commercial and domestic vehicles are also a big priority for them as these vehicles are being tested in controlled environments such as in California and Utah where weather conditions are consistent. If self-driving cars are the future, then sensors must be protected to keep everyone on the road safe.