Product hacking is described as repurposing a product to change its
appearance or make it perform a different function to the one originally
intended by its manufacturer. Window film is one such product.
A product developed in the sixties by NASA, window film has long been
used to reduce solar heat gain in buildings and vehicles. However, the application
of window film has evolved from its original purpose to innovative uses
including increasing privacy in bathrooms to keeping birds safe and dogs quiet.
The Window Film Association of Australia and New Zealand (WFAANZ) lists ten
different ways film can stylishly solve problems in the home.
Privacy and light in the
Bathroom windows need to allow light in while ensuring privacy for the
user. Curtains are impractical in bathrooms, blinds are hard to clean and
awnings can be unsightly. WFAANZ President Ally Cronan suggests frosted or
decorative window film to solve many problems at once in the bathroom. The
water-resistant window film not only provides privacy and light but can also be
used on any glass surface to jazz up shower screens or disguise water marks.
Decorative film in home
entranceways for first impressions
Decorative window film can be used to transform the entrance if the front
door has glass panels, a transom or sidelights. The house number or surname can
be cut from window film and applied to the glass for a sophisticated
one-of-a-kind look. Decorative film can also add pattern, colour and life,
giving guests a sense of the homeowner’s creative style before they even step
Keeping dogs calm
Homeowners who are hassled by their dogs barking at the sight of any
movement outside the front window can use decorative or frosted window film on
the lower windows to obscure their vision; in addition to solving the dilemma,
the homeowners can also prevent any contravention of council noise regulations
caused by barking.
Keeping the kitchen bright,
fresh and as good as new
Yellowing is a major problem for white kitchen cabinets exposed to direct
sunlight, which over time can fade painted wood and laminated surfaces. Window
film on kitchen windows has been found to shield cabinets from direct sunlight
and reduce fading issues.
Preventing bird strikes
Bird strike refers to the phenomena of birds getting injured or killed by
flying into windows because they see the outdoors reflected in the glass. Application
of window films that appear as opaque to the birds can prevent such accidents
while providing the residents a clear view out.
From cabinet to whiteboard
Office cupboards with glass doors can also double as stylish reusable
whiteboards by applying white opaque window film.
Glass railings or balustrades are increasingly being installed for balconies,
pools and staircases not only for compliance with the Building Code of
Australia but also for their aesthetic appeal. Privacy can be added to such
installations by applying frosted film that also helps retain the smart look of
Tool protection in garden sheds
Garden sheds are typically stocked with expensive tools and equipment
but very rarely secured to prevent theft. WFAANZ recommends the application of a
frosted security film to garden shed windows so that the glass cannot be broken
easily by smash-and-grab thieves. The frosted finish will additionally conceal
any view into the shed from the outside.
Strong, safe and pretty
Decorative glass cannot be heat strengthened or tempered, and can
therefore pose a threat if broken. Safety film on decorative glass will hold
the broken pieces together and mitigate any serious injury.
Preventing algae in fish tanks by
Fish tanks exposed to direct sunlight for some part of the day are at
risk of developing algae. A clear UV-blocking window film can help keep the
tank clean by retarding algae growth since UV is required by algae for
photosynthesis. Installing a film will help slow the rate of algae growth
regardless of other non-solar light sources.