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 finalists). 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 Finalists." 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 www.History.com/invent 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 listeners. 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 and history education. The History Channel reaches more than 91 million Nielsen subscribers. The website is located at www.History.com. Press Only: For more information and photography please visit us on the web at www.historychannelpress.com. 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)