Innovation of the Year 2015

Awards Winner
HTC’s virtual dream is Vive alive. Lighter than it looks and sensored to the hilt, what makes this headset special is more than a pair of 1080p screens – this is the immersive, interactive future.

The runners-up

Quit talking to yourself and take your life touch-free with this high-tech tube. Wake it up with a word and start streaming, browsing, listing and ordering from your sofa without lifting a finger.

Forget double taps and menu buttons: the future of one-fingered phone function is pressing hard to peek and pop – and Apple’s innovative interface makes this an under-the-thumb reality.

Providing the fast-paced fuel for the 4K revolution, BT’s hi-res package is ahead of the pack for ultra-HD telly – offering everything from crystal-clear football to super-sharp MotoGP.

Unlimited snaps storage is silly without a seriously smart search system that automatically identifies the subject of your shots and categorises them accordingly. Helpfully, Google Photos offers both.

Hi-def holographic headgear, Microsoft wants to augment your reality - at home, in the office and, well, everywhere. Camera-equipped and available to developers, 3D floating footage isn’t far away.

Apple’s open-source health tech is medical research made mainstream. Putting data-driven power in your palm, everyone with an iDevice can participate in studies for the sake of science.

Saviour of those spoilt for choice, Spotify’s super-smart selective service is more than an average algorithm. Mixtape over mashup, it’s a system that knows your new favourite band before you do.

Bunging bleeding-edge battery tech on your wall might sound bizarre, but Tesla’s lithium-ion cell is designed for domesticity. From solar storage to blackout backup, it could save the planet.