Learning about smart windows

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

I am the youngest of three siblings. My brother, Raymond, is three years older than me, and my sister, Suzanne, is two years older. We grew up very close to one another. We attended the same schools from pre-school through college, and we still remain extremely tight-knit. This week, Raymond is in town for a visit.

He has always been my go-to source for all things tech. A self-proclaimed computer geek, he was building his own computers as a kid and stays up to date on all of the latest innovations. It’s no wonder I thought of him when I came across some new updates in windows.

These are not the windows you think of when you think of computers, rather these are the traditional windows you have at home — but with a twist. As the world of smart homes gets even more advanced, windows have evolved right along with them. Tommy Silva, of T & T Specialists Inc., filled me in on two products that have tech-savvy homeowners swooning.

TESLA GLASS: This window film can be installed onto your existing windows. Not only does it help to block up to 99 percent of ultraviolet (UV) rays, but it can also provide a view or privacy on demand.

“When a voltage is applied, the polymers inside transition in a manner that appear visually clear to the user,” according to Silva. “In off mode, the polymers disperse and form the opaque, frost view.”

What’s more, it connects to your Wi-Fi and smart home hub so you can control it with your voice. Use it anywhere you would want to take in the views or enjoy some privacy. Keep in mind, however, that it requires an electricity source for operation.

COOLVU: These transitional films require no electricity and can be installed on your existing windows as well. They have been formulated to adapt to the intensity of the sun. When the sun is shining, they transition to a darker, tinted state. In this state, they block out 99 percent of UV rays and protect your skin as well as delicate fabrics, hardwoods and artwork. They also block 80 percent of the infrared heat gain through glass, which can significantly reduce the need for cooling your home through other means.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.