Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is an anti-noise control window.

Researchers in Singapore created a speaker system that lets you cut out street noise without shutting your window, said David Waldstein at The New York Times. The "Anti-Noise Control Window" works like "noise-­canceling headphones for your apartment." A microphone outside the window detects repeating sound waves from the offending source and sends the information to a computer.

(Courtesy image)

The computer then sends a signal to 24 small speakers placed in the window to produce corresponding "anti" waves that can "cancel out the incoming waves." The system isn't perfect yet: It's only optimal for silencing regular sounds, like that of traffic. It's less successful with "sporadic noises, like firecrackers or car horns" or that loud neighbor's voice across the street. The conspicuous speakers also pose "a bit of an aesthetic hindrance."

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.