Induction cooktops are expensive but they’re also fast and efficient — a report for the Department of Energy says induction has a cooking efficiency of 84%. So when a company combines the efficiency of induction cooking with new cutting-edge technology, as shown by Thermador’s Freedom Induction Cooktop, there’s going to be some interest.
Now this is an interesting story as it relates to the prefab construction in the USA. Blu Homes just announced that the company sold and is currently manufacturing its first home personalized entirely online in 3-D by the purchaser. Cathy and Walter Pearlman fired up the Blu | 3-D Configurator, settled on the Element Series, personalized it, and then sent their custom design to Blu for purchase. Blu confirmed the selections, made one change to the bathroom tile, and then the sent the 3-D plans to the factory.
Switch Lighting, creator of the only LED that uses liquid cooling technology, is on the cusp of a breakout year in 2012. The Switch bulb creates the same warm color of an incandescent, yet it’s made with reclaimable or recyclable materials using the Cradle to Cradle methodology. Inside the bulb is a liquid thermal cooling solution that helps cool the LEDs from all sides, producing more light from less LEDs. In fact, a Switch bulb lasts about 25 times longer and uses 80% less energy than an incandescent.
This is a “Granny Annex” in Kent, England, fabricated by in.it.studios in eight weeks. In.it.studios fashioned the backyard prefab with a well-insulated envelope, Canadian Western Red Cedar cladding, a “zero maintenance” living sedum roof, floor to ceiling windows, a sky light in the hallway, an Accoya deck, and other built-ins with PEFC- and FSC-certified woods.
At CES 2012, Wireless Glue Networks launched its second-generation in-home display called SmartLook. SmartLook provides direct wireless access to smart meters with real-time information and is “The World’s First Refrigerator Magnet In-home Display,” according to Wireless Glue Networks. SmartLook relays pricing information so homeowners can learn what saves energy and money at the same time. It also stores historical usage and pricing information. NRG Energy has a booth at CES showcasing the display; keep an eye out for something like this through your local electricity provider.
Allure Energy recently announced its new EverSense product line and officially unveiled the home environment and energy management system today at CES 2012. EverSense is foremost a thermostat replacement with built-in speakers, Wi-FI, and a capacitive touch screen. It’s also a platform to share energy-saving tips and content with homeowners.