We’ve had the chance to sample Mercedes-Benz’s so-called Magic Sky Control technology in both the SL and SLK roadsters, and it’s a pretty clever party trick. The technology can turn the overhead roof panel in either of the two-seaters from transparent to opaque by energizing the light-blocking crystals sandwiched in the glass. By electrifying the crystals, they reorder themselves, varying the amount of light that’s let through the glass roof panel.
We’ve seen similar electrochromic glass technology before in the Ferrari 575 Superamerica, but that appears to have been a one-and-done effort in Maranello, whereas Mercedes-Benz is reportedly keen to spread the technology around to more of its lineup. And not only are Benz engineers looking at more models, they’re apparently shifting their focus to side glass – in particular, rear side glass. In fact, Benz’s Viano Vision Diamond concept van debuted with the technology at this week’s Beijing Motor Show. We can see Hollywood lining up already – this technology has real merit for keeping the paparazzi at bay.
But blocking out TMZ’s long-lenses isn’t the only issue – there’s not-inconsiderable concern of law enforcement. Window tinting standards vary wildly from state to state here in the U.S., as well as country to country globally, something that could prove to be a major hurdle for the German automaker’s legal team.