Innovation of the Week: Enertia House – A Home That Heats and Cools Itself


Posted by: meikah | 18 May 2007 | 1:41 am

Preserving our natural resources and keeping our environment clean is the current order of the day. Leading auto manufacturers are now launching environment friendly cars and several groups are pushing for alternative sources of energy. It’s good that people are now joining forces to address major environmental concerns.

Over at Pogue’s Posts, David Pogue featured the winner of the Modern Marvels/Invent Now annual contest run by the History Channel and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. The winning invention is called Enertia House.

According to the inventor, Michael Sykes, an engineer and former log-home architect:

It’s a design for a home that heats and cools itself, with benefits both the homeowner and the environment.

Two factors contribute to this effect. First, the entire house is made of southern yellow pine. According to Mr. Sykes, this wood is especially efficient at maintaining a constant temperature; it absorbs heat during the day and releases it at night.

Second, air circulates in a convection cycle from top to bottom of the house, constantly redistributing the heat.

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Filed under: David Pogue, Innovation Update, Sustainable Business

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Innovation of the Week: Windows Vista Speech Recognition


Posted by: meikah | 2 March 2007 | 3:28 am

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about Bill Gates’s latest baby, the Windows Vista. Among the many interesting things about it is the speech recognition feature.

Indeed to me and as the tag line of Vista, “the “Wow” starts now.” The strength of Windows is its being user friendly, but this one takes the easy-does-it phenomenon to the next level. You can now tell your computer what to do without probably lifting a finger.

David Pogue talks about Speech Recognition of Windows Vista on his blog, Pogue’s Post, at New York Times Technology.

Speech Recognition lets you not only control your PC by voice–open programs, click buttons, click Web links, and so on–but also dictate text, a heck of a lot faster than you can type.

The first time you open Speech Recognition, you arrive at a very slick, very impressive full-screen tutorial/introduction, featuring a 20-something model in a white gauzy room that appears to be heaven.

Click your way through the screens. Along the way, you’re shown the basics: how to dictate and how to operate buttons, menus, windows, programs, and so on.

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Filed under: Bill Gates, Communication, David Pogue, Entertainment, Innovation Update, Software/Technology

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