The hottest stuff of 2016: a retrospective

Take a trip in the Hot Stuff time machine

That was the year, that was.

And what a year. Such marvels have passed this way as would give a unicorn self-esteem issues. We've touched Touch Bars and reeled in virtual realities and actually, not figuratively, taken our hands off the steering wheel.

But not far from the big ticket items there's been a steady stream of amazing Hot Stuff: curious cameras, wild hi-fi and unlikely Kickstarter campaigns. What follows here is our pick of those stories.

Sitting comfortably? Then let's begin… 

Leica M-D

That camera's got no screen! How does it smell? Expensive. And yet, it turns out that not having a screen actually makes photography easier.

Read about the Leica M-D here

PowerVision PowerEgg

Like electric moths, drones just cannot stop throwing themselves into the limelight. But of all the big, small, clever and cool 'copters we've seen, the PowerEgg managed a delightful combination of futuristic and ridiculous.

Read more about the PowerEgg here  

Aerix

The Aerix speaker is a head-scratcher. Curiously designed as two offset boxes fused to one plinth, it's a wildly expensive wireless sound system in a market crowded with well-known competitors. But! It has a face.

Read more about the Aerix speaker here 

Impossible I-1

Not many folk out there turning hopes into reality as fast as Impossible Project - having saved Polaroid instant film from a giant skip, it then went and launched this brand new camera to use it in. All power to its engines, say we.

Read more about the Impossible Project I-1 here    

Mag-Lev Audio

Anything that floats with magnets takes us happily back to the Innovations catalogues that used to fall out of the Sunday paper. But this is no executive paperweight, it's a full-bore turntable that just happens to have a eye-catching floaty platter.

Read more about the Mag-Lev turntable here 

Microsoft Surface Studio

Anomalous in this list, in that this is a product from a pretty well-known company. But, the Surface Studio is notably niche for being a desktop PC you can fold flat and write on, with a futuristic Minority Report-esque Dial peripheral. Want.

Read more about the Microsoft Surface Studio here

 

Meem cable

We are entirely unapologetic about our love of cables. This one, however, piggybacks a secondary function (data backup) onto its everyday function of phone charging, creating the tertiary function of melting our geeky hearts.

Read more about the Meem cable here 

Instrumments 01

There you are just wombling along through your life, and somone says: "How have you been measuring curved objects?" Suddenly, nothing seems tangible any more.

Read more about the Instrumments 01 here 

Roli Blocks

The mark of a good Hot Stuff product is one where you spend ten minutes just playing around with it as an object, before eventually turning it on and using it for its proper purpose. The magnetically attractive Roli Blocks music devices are just such a thing.

Read more about Roli Blocks here

Loupedeck

Ooh, makes your fingers itch, doesn't it? All those buttons and twiddlers. But, restrain yourself or you'll wreck your photos.

Read more about the Loupedeck here