The Modern Marvels Invent Now(R) Challenge Names Top Invention of 2007

A true modern marvel, the "Enertia(R) Building System" is designed to be an

environmentally friendly, economical and efficient system for building


May 11, 2007, 01:00 ET from The History Channel(R)

    NEW YORK, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The History Channel(R) and Invent
 Now(R) Inc., a division of the National Inventors Hall of Fame(R)
 Foundation, announced today the Finalists and Grand Prize Winner - the top
 inventions of 2007 - in the second annual Modern Marvels Invent Now(R)
 Challenge, a national competition in search of America's next great
 inventor. The Challenge, which is named in part for Modern Marvels(R), the
 long-running series on The History Channel that celebrates ingenuity,
 imagination and invention brought to life, named Michael Sykes' Enertia(R)
 Building System the 2007 Modern Marvel of the Year.
     The Enertia(R) Building System uses a patented process to increase the
 latent heat storage capabilities of wood materials. The system also uses
 milled wooden blocks to eliminate the many materials and labor-intensive
 steps of house wall construction, replacing them with simple
 screwed-into-place units. The result is an attractive house of renewable
 material that heats and cools itself with free, natural clean energy. The
 competition also named Kim W. Bertron's SimpleShot as First-Prize Winner,
 Dan Didrick's X-Finger as Second-Prize Winner, Christine Ingemi's iHearSafe
 Earbuds as Third-Prize Winner and David T. Krausman's DeSat Counter as
 Fourth-Prize Winner (see below for full profiles of the winner and four
     The Enertia Building System and the four other Finalists were chosen by
 the Challenge's impressive panel of inventors and industry experts out of
 nearly 2,500 submissions from inventors representing 17 states. The
 esteemed panel, which included the inventor of the personal computer and
 co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak, The New York Times technology journalist
 David Pogue, The History Channel executive producer Mike Stiller, TIME
 Magazine editor Jeremy Caplan, Sharper Image senior vice president of
 engineering & technology Andrew Parker, Invention & Technology Magazine
 editor Fred Allen and PC Magazine executive editor Stephanie Chang, chose
 these five inventions for being true modern marvels and because of their
 potential to make significant impacts in their fields.
     "These inventors represent those who have the tenacity to pursue an
 answer to a question that goes unanswered - just like their famous
 predecessors, such as Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison, who we feature on our
 series Modern Marvels," said Judy Klein-Frimer, co-creator of the Challenge
 for The History Channel. "Our series showcases inventors of our past whose
 contributions remain vital to us today, so we are proud to support these
 inventors of the present who epitomize our series and will have a
 significant impact on advancing our quality of life in the future."
     The Grand Prize Winner, Michael Sykes, will receive a $25,000 prize,
 and his invention along with the inventions of the other four Finalists
 will be featured during Modern Marvels Invent Now(R) Week on The History
 Channel May 15 - 17, which will also include Modern Marvels premiere
 episodes 60's Tech and It Came from Outer Space. Check your local listings
 for times.
     The second Modern Marvels Invent Now Challenge, which kicked off in the
 fall of 2006, announced its 25 Semi-Finalists in March 2007. After taking
 the inventions of the Semi-Finalists on the road to science and technology
 museums in San Jose, Saint Louis and Orlando, The Challenge hosted all 25
 Semi- Finalists in New York City for the Grand Prize Winner announcement
 (May 10th). In addition, Semi-Finalists will participate in a two-day
 Independent Inventors Conference presented by the National Inventors Hall
 of Fame Foundation and the United States Patent and Trademark Office in New
 York to help further develop their invention ideas (May 12-13th). The
 Challenge's exhibit will remain on display in New York City at the
 Citigroup Center through May 25th.
     "The National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation has been recognizing
 the world's most influential inventors for more than thirty years," said
 Jeffrey Dollinger, President of Invent Now, Inc. division of the National
 Inventors Hall of Fame. "The Enertia Building System is a great example of
 the kind of breakthrough that we strive to honor in our programs and we
 salute the inventive spirit personified by Michael Sykes and all of the
     The History Channel and the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation
 have also joined forces with Lexus, this year's presenting sponsor. "At the
 core of the Lexus brand resides a commitment to pioneering new innovations
 for society," said Deborah Meyer, vice president of Marketing for Lexus.
 "We are proud to support a program that recognizes such innovative
 breakthroughs, all of which will undoubtedly impact how we live."
     Viewers can catch the highly successful series, Modern Marvels, on The
 History Channel Wednesdays, starting at 8pm/7c. Log on to for more information on the 2007 Modern Marvel of
 the Year and the Finalists and Semi-Finalists of the Modern Marvels Invent
 Now Challenge.
     Meet the Winner (Full Biography Available):
     Enertia(R) Building System
     Michael Sykes, Builder, Wake Forest, NC
     The Enertia Building System uses milled wooden blocks to eliminate the
 many materials and labor-intensive steps of house wall construction,
 replacing them with simple screwed-into-place units that store solar
 energy. The result is an attractive house of renewable material that heats
 and cools itself with free, natural clean energy.
     Each Enertia house is built with a small atmosphere between the walls
 and is connected to a sunspace. The glue-laminated wooden structure stores
 solar and geothermal energy in its cellulose, lignin and resin, which is
 seeded with mineral crystals to initiate phase change. Over time the
 thermal energy is released to heat the home. During the summer the process
 is reversed, and the wooden structure absorbs heat from the appliances and
 occupants throughout the day, dissipating it at night.
     The Enertia Building System can have a significant impact in reducing
 the burning of fossil fuels and protecting homeowners from violent weather.
 According to Sykes, the current methods of building, heating and cooling
 houses damage the earth, and building just one Enertia house is equivalent
 to taking 50 cars off the road.
     Meet the Finalists (Full Biographies Available):
     First-Prize Winner: SimpleShot
     Kim W. Bertron, Consultant, Tallahassee, FL
     Co-Inventors: Andy Bertron, Brian J. Boothe, John Wiley Horton
     The SimpleShot, is a medical device that simplifies the process for
 mixing a powder-form drug with a mixing solution in a single syringe. In an
 emergency situation this device provides faster, easier administration of
 reconstituted drugs.
     Kim Bertron conceived of the device after a medical emergency. Her
 daughter, who has Type 1 Diabetes, was suffering from a severe hypoglycemic
 episode and Bertron needed to administer a life-saving dose of Glucagon. As
 she was frantically trying to mix the drug in powder form with the diluting
 solution, the needle broke - which she later found out was a common problem
 among parents trying to administer these sorts of reconstituted drugs.
 Fortunately, Bertron was able to leverage a back-up kit to deliver the
 Glucagon to her daughter, but after the incident, Bertron and her husband
 pledged to create a device that would make administering these drugs
 easier, so they engaged a few engineer friends to develop the SimpleShot.
     SimpleShot has the potential to improve healthcare for diabetics in the
 home and in hospitals. Numerous medical conditions require a reconstituted
 drug that could be quickly and accurately delivered with the SimpleShot. In
 addition to Glucagon, human growth hormone drugs, drugs for hemophiliacs
 and other biotech drugs require immediate mixing before injection. This
 syringe has the potential to reduce errors in dosage, save time, eliminate
 contamination and reduce the risk of needle stick exposure.
     Second-Prize Winner: X-Finger
     Dan Didrick, Inventor, Naples, FL
     The X-Finger is a functional artificial finger that allows amputees to
 control the movement of each artificial finger independently and as quickly
 as their real fingers.
     The X-Finger moves within the natural range of motion of an actual
 finger. When the device is fitted to the hand, the movement of the
 remaining portion of the patient's finger controls the X-Finger's movement.
     Nearly one in every 150 people has suffered the loss of at least one
 finger. The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System estimates that
 individuals with limited use of their hands earn approximately half of what
 individuals earn who have full use of their hands. The X-Finger enables
 individuals to continue to be productive and independent members of
 society, and due to the simplicity of the design, amputees from around the
 world and from every economic background may soon be able to afford this
 form of functional restoration.
     Third-Prize Winner: iHearSafe Earbuds
     Christine Ingemi, President, Ingemi Corp., Amherst, NH
     iHearSafe Earbuds are ear buds that connect to traditional music
 players and limit the volume of these players to prevent hearing loss in
     A mother of four children under 11 years old, Ingemi sought out a safer
 alternative to traditional headphones. Hearing loss researchers propose
 safe volume levels for music listeners, but millions of music players and
 headphones do not offer volume-limiters that adhere to these guidelines.
 Ingemi designed iHearSafe Earbuds to limit the volume of audio players to a
 maximum of 80 decibels, and they have been tested by certified audiologists
 who confirm their decibel SPL and frequency response times.
     The journal Pediatrics estimates that 12.5 percent of children ages
 six-19 - about 5.2 million people - have noise-induced hearing loss. This
 invention could have a great impact on this demographic and all who listen
 to music devices, as iHearSafe Earbuds will proactively prevent listeners
 from the hearing loss associated with listening to music at high volumes.
     Fourth-Prize Winner: DeSat Counter
     David T. Krausman, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Principal Investigator
 and Bio-Medical Engineer, Baltimore, MD
     Co-Inventor: Richard P. Allen, Ph.D.
     The DeSat Counter is an innovative medical instrument used to test
 patients for sleep apnea, the occurrence of frequent interruptions in
 breathing during sleep. This miniature, portable monitor requires no set-up
 and is simple to operate. It can be used in sleep labs or by untrained
 patients in their own homes.
     Using a simple disposable sensor attached to the index finger, the
 DeSat Counter measures the amount of oxygen present in the blood. A drop in
 blood oxygen is a reliable indicator that a significant apnea event has
 occurred. The Counter itself straps comfortably onto the wrist and displays
 a tally of apnea events and heart rate. In the morning, the recorded apneas
 may be viewed on the Counter's large LCD screen or downloaded to an Excel
 spreadsheet for analysis. Because it's portable and user-friendly, it
 requires no special training and can be used in the home by the patient.
     Sleep apnea is a serious health condition from which an estimated 30
 million Americans suffer. Sleep apnea has been associated with many forms
 of heart disease, hypertension, stroke and death if the condition goes
 untreated. The DeSat Counter could have a major impact on the diagnosis and
 treatment of sleep apnea by providing a simple, comfortable, accurate and
 affordable test.
     About The History Channel
     The History Channel(R) is a leading cable television network featuring
 compelling original, non-fiction specials and series that bring history to
 life in a powerful and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. The
 network provides an inviting place where people experience history in new
 and exciting ways enabling them to connect their lives today to the great
 lives and events of the past that provide a blueprint for the future. The
 History Channel has earned four Peabody Awards, three Primetime Emmy(R)
 Awards, 10 News & Documentary Emmy(R) Awards and received the prestigious
 Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the
 network's Save Our History(R) campaign dedicated to historic preservation
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 For more information and photography please visit us on the web at
     About the National Inventors Hall of Fame(R) Foundation
     The not-for-profit National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation is the
 premier organization in America dedicated to honoring and fostering
 creativity and invention. Each year a new class of inventors is inducted
 into the Hall of Fame in recognition of their patented inventions that make
 human, social, and economic progress possible. Founded in 1973 by the U.S.
 Patent and Trademark Office and the National Council of Intellectual
 Property Law Associations, the Hall's permanent home is in Akron, Ohio,
 where the inventors in the Hall are honored and from where the Foundation
 administers its national programs and subsidiaries, including the Camp
 Invention(R), Club Invention(R) and the Collegiate Inventors Competition(R)
 programs and Invent Now(R) Inc., a subsidiary of the Foundation which is
 dedicated to providing creative, educational and inspirational programs for
 inventors from all walks of life.
     About Lexus
     Lexus has become synonymous with luxury since its introduction in 1989.
 By offering some of the finest quality luxury vehicles and providing
 benchmark customer service, Lexus has remained the top-selling luxury
 nameplate in the United States for seven years in a row. Lexus and its 221
 dealers have repeatedly achieved high honors for both the products they
 sell and the customer service they provide.
     Additional Partners
     The United States Patent and Trademark Office, TIME and The Sharper
 Image are proud supporters of the Challenge. Additional partners include
 the American Intellectual Property Law Association, American Society of
 Civil Engineers, Boston Properties, Invention Showcase, Intellectual
 Property Owners Association, Industrial Research Institute, National
 Science Teachers Association and Young Inventors International.

SOURCE The History Channel(R)