In recent years, the stereotypical image of a window cleaner with his squeegee and bucket is becoming far less common, and although traditional methods still have their place in the industry, many cleaners have embraced more modern, time efficient methods like pure water window cleaning. But what will window cleaning businesses and window cleaning equipment look like in another 10, 20 or 30 years’ time? Will gizmos and gadgets have taken over, or will window cleaners still need that personal touch to ensure the best results and to connect with their customers? As the most progressive window cleaning software on the market, Cleaner Planner has taken a look at some of the possibilities for the distant and not-so-distant future of window cleaning. Are any of them serious contenders? Only time will tell!
There are already many window cleaning robots available on the market, designed for both domestic and commercial use. Robotic window cleaning systems have been implemented successfully on many high-rise buildings throughout the world. Serbot’s Gekko Facade is currently one of the market leaders. In terms of cost, Serbot maintain that their system is more cost-effective compared to manual cleaning – although it involves a higher initial investment, it pays back in the long term. Smaller robots designed for residential applications are also readily available, however, they have had much less impact on the window cleaning industry. These smaller robotic cleaners only have the battery capacity to clean just a few windows, and for some, the results are questionable.
Just as some companies are developing airborne drones for deliveries, some are also developing drones for more obscure tasks – including window cleaning. Whilst engineers still have some way to go to overcome the limitations of drones for this purpose, for example flight time and the amount of pressure they can apply to a window, you might be surprised by how far they have come so far. The below video from shows the a “swarm” of prototype drones being used for commercial window cleaning. While it may not be a viable solution as yet, they are certainly a potential candidate for future window cleaning equipment, particularly in the commercial space.
Video courtesy of window-cleaning-drones.com
They might be the latest catchwords in cleaning technology, but they are yet to really take off in the industry as yet. Inventors are looking introduce nanotechnology into various cleaning products, whether it’s a film that is applied to the surface of the glass to make it truly self-cleaning, or the use of nanoparticles in detergent so that it can be applied without scrubbing or squeegeeing. Some of these types of products are in prototype phase and are showing promising results, but they are yet to be properly tested in the mainstream.
Jetpack window cleaning
One of the more farfetched gadgets on our list, jetpacks are more likely to make you think of James Bond than they are window cleaning. However the technology itself is advancing quite rapidly. The Martin Jetpack, still in prototype, is capable of flying up to 1000 feet high, with a 30 minute flight time and relatively low running costs. The aircraft is being seriously considered for a variety of tasks in the future, ranging from emergency response to high-altitude repair work. It’s likely to set you back £120-£200K when it goes to market, so it might be a while off being a viable option for your window cleaning equipment list, but it does sound like a lot of fun!
It’s clear to see that window cleaning is set to see lots of innovation in the next few decades. We’re excited to see window cleaners embracing new technology and the team at Cleaner Planner look forward to evolving with them.