Stuff Gadget Awards 2013: The Xbox One Kinect is your Innovation of the Year

We celebrate the most forward thinking gadgets and technologies of the year – you voted, and the ayes have it: the Xbox One's all-seeing eye voting is the Innovation of the Year
Xbox One Kinect

Innovation is the gadget world's lifeblood, and 2013 has been a particularly gory year.

We've seen tech you wear on your face, tech you wear on your wrist, tech that fills your trousers with electricity. All of it is impressive, but only one could scoop a coveted Stuff Gadget Award. And it was all down to you, dear readers.

Winner: Xbox One Kinect

Xbox One Kinect

Microsoft's camera-on-steroids will be bundled with every Xbox One console, and features a whole host of improved tech. For starters you can use it even if your lounge isn't an auditorium, and it's more accurate and performs better in dim environments. It can track 25 individual joints and can even measure your heart rate. Throw in simultaneous tracking of six people, voice control and the ability to read your heart rate just by looking at you, and the possibilities are astounding.

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Runner-up: Nvidia Shield

Nvidia Shield

We're not quite sure how Nvidia managed to cram Tegra 4 power and a 5in 720p touchscreen into a controller, but we're glad it did. Making mincemeat out of 3D Android and TegraZone games, it'll even hook up to a TV for a proper console experience and let you stream PC games if you've got a supported graphics card.

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Runner-up: Cota by Ossia

Cota by Ossia

Wireless charging systems such as Qi are far more convenient than faffing around with tiny ports when you're trying to stumble into bed at 3am. But they're not truly wireless as they rely on charging pads. Enter the Cota system by Ossia, which uses magnetic charging over the 2.4GHz spectrum to juice up your phone while it's in your pocket. Nikola Tesla would be proud.

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Runner-up: August Smart Lock

August Smart Lock

There are locks, and then there are locks. Designed by Yves Behar, this beautiful door lock (yes, it turns out that door locks can in fact be beautiful) is as clever as it is pretty. Thanks to its Bluetooth LE connectivity it can automatically unlock when it senses you're approaching, and you can even send full or time-locked keys to people, so you'll never have to run back and forth while entertaining again.

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Runner-up: Amazon AutoRip & MatchBook

Amazon AutoRip & MatchBook

Imagine if, suddenly, every book you'd bought over the last 15 years was available to you in digital form for a couple of quid (or less). Imagine if, suddenly, all of the CDs and records you'd purchased over the same period were available to stream and download at your leisure from any computer, smartphone or tablet for nothing. No need to imagine: meet MatchBook and AutoRip. Thanks, Amazon. Thamazon.

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Runner-up: Nest Protect

Nest Protect

The fire alarm is the single most annoying tech product in history; the Nest Protect turns it into one of the cleverest. It'll detect smoke or carbon monoxide, and if it notices something's awry it'll ask you before screaming the house down - you can let it know you've burnt the toast simply by waving it. It lights your way at night, talks with other Protects around your home and gives you status updates wherever you are in the world. 

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Runner-up: Google Project Loon

Two-thirds of the world doesn't have internet access. How to solve the problem? With high-altitude balloons travelling in the stratosphere way above the earth, of course! You connect to the high-speed balloon-based networks via an antenna affixed to your abode, which then bounce the signals about until they reach a base station back on terra firma. The concept has been proved to work during tests in New Zealand, and could bring the wonder of cat memes to the world's most remote communities. So bonkers, so brilliant - so Google.

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Runner-up: PaperTab


This concept device is a tablet-like screen made of flexible E-ink, but rather than just a touchscreen, you can interact with it by bending it. Flip a page of the book you're reading by curling the corner, for example. Could change reading as we know it: the future's definitely flexible.

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Runner-up: Philips Ambilight + Hue Lightbulbs

Philips Ambilight + Hue Lightbulbs

The Hue lightbulbs are some of the most impressive connected home gadgets available, allowing you to set the ambience in your room, turn them on and off and set 'light alarms' all from your smartphone. But combined with a Philips Ambilight TV, they reach a new level of genius, providing 'surround' lighting for your movie viewing by aping the on-screen colours.

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