Presenting our Best of CES 2014 Awards winners


Curating the Best of CES Awards as an official CEA partner is not a responsibility we take lightly. Finding plenty of worthy finalists was easy, but narrowing down each category to just one winner? Not so much. Nevertheless, we spent two nights in the Engadget trailer considering products against our criteria and arguing the list down to 14 killer, innovative picks. Congrats to all our winners — head past the break to check them out! Best Startup: Airtame The Airtame is a surprisingly intuitive and refreshing solution for wireless PC screen-mirroring. It’s easy to set up and responsive, and the software (available for Linux, Windows and OS X) even supports beaming one PC to multiple screens. It’s a Miracast dongle on steroids. — Richard Lai , Senior Editor Best Digital Health & Fitness Product: JayBird Reign In a sea of activity-tracking wearables, the JayBird Reign stood out not only for its attractive design, but also its innovative software. Android and iOS apps log your movements and display related stats, like calories burned and activity duration, then offer up suggestions based on your physical history. If you’ve spent your days exploring the convention center halls and your nights at Vegas clubs, for example, Reign will suggest that you add a few hours of sleep. Meanwhile, the morning after Super Bowl Sunday, the device may offer up some firm guidance to head to the gym. — Zach Honig , Deputy Managing Editor Best Automotive Electronics Product: Corvette Performance Data Recorder The original Corvette Stingray is a legendary car, revered for its stunning (if aerodynamically dangerous) design. After a long hiatus, Chevrolet has once again begun building Stingray Corvettes, and the 2015 model (though still a looker) may be legendary for a whole new reason: the Performance Data Recorder (PDR). For track day aficionados, the PDR is the holy grail, a way to both record video of their racing exploits and have their driving telemetry overlaid on top of it. We’re talking the kind of experience that was previously reserved only for pro racing drivers and those playing video games like Forza or Gran Turismo . — Michael Gorman , Senior Editor Best Audio Product: ClearView Clio The Clio from ClearView is a Bluetooth speaker with a difference: It’s almost invisible. Audio is generated using a patented “Edge Motion” system to “activate” a transparent piece of acrylic and produce full stereo sound. The Clio’s combination of innovative ideas and practical application make it our standout audio product from this year’s CES. — James Trew , Senior Editor Best Video Product: Dish Virtual Joey For years, we’ve come to CES and heard about technology that would let us watch TV without a box directly connected, and Dish has finally delivered on that promise. Its Virtual Joey app is coming first to LG smart TVs and PlayStation consoles, and is expected to reach other platforms soon. Subscribers will still need the main Hopper DVR set-top box, but multi-room access to live TV or recordings is possible just by connecting to your network and then installing the app. We thought the experience was exceptionally well-designed, with control possible via the device’s remote/gamepad, or by using a Dish RF remote to operate the DVR from another room. — Richard Lawler , Senior HD Editor Best Software: Sony PlayStation Now This is how your PlayStation will look in five years. It’s not a box — it’s just out there. With a connectivity speed that’s possible on the majority of broadband connections, and entire PS3 games coming at launch in summer 2014 (PS4 content and older titles are also coming in good time), it’s the future of console gaming. — Mat Smith , Senior Editor Best Emerging Technology: Oculus Rift ‘Crystal Cove’ prototype It wasn’t too long ago that virtual reality headsets were nothing more than a punch line (remember the Virtual Boy?). But thanks to wunderkind Palmer Luckey, the wearable tech has resumed its place as a promising technology of tomorrow. The Crystal Cove prototype shown off at this year’s CES adds depth sensing via an external camera, a 1080p OLED display for improved clarity and shucks off possibly one of its worst cons: motion blur. With Crystal Cove, Oculus is bringing VR that much closer to reality. — Joseph Volpe , Senior Editor Best Mobile Technology: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact The vast majority of small Android smartphones are merely stripped-down versions of their flagship counterparts, which means that if you don’t like large devices you typically have to settle for something that’s lower-quality. Sony’s addressing this pain point with the Xperia Z1 Compact, a smaller version of the company’s flagship device that features most of the same powerful components in a 4.3-inch waterproof chassis: You’ll get a 20.7MP camera, a top-of-the-class quad-core processor, high-resolution Triluminos display and a variety of color options. — Brad Molen , Senior Mobile Editor Best Gaming Product: Valve Steam Machines As Google is to Android, Steam Machines are to PC gaming. Valve’s initiative is bold and innovative, and it stands to impact several industries: gaming, computing, television and who knows what else. It offers an open standard for moving the gaming PC from the home offices of the world into the living room, and it comes from the folks behind Steam — by far the most important digital storefront in the game industry. It’s still early days for Steam Machines, but the future is very bright. — Ben Gilbert , Senior Editor Best Offbeat Product: Mother Mother’s product description includes the phrase “the internet of things” and its soulless visage gives us a serious case of the willies, but it still handily took home top honors in our offbeat category. Why? Because the smart, wireless nesting doll base station and sensor-laden cookies are surprisingly versatile and user-friendly. Rather than picking up multiple modules for different tasks, you can repurpose those tags to monitor everything from distance walked to how many cappuccinos you make in a day. Are there systems like Mother out there? Sure. But most are confusing and really meant for the DIY enthusiast, not your average consumer. — Terrence O’Brien , Deputy Managing Editor Best Kid-Friendly Product: Mimo Baby with Intel It’s a smart baby onesie — what else do you need to know? In all seriousness, the Mimo Baby (made by Rest Devices with Intel tech inside) is quite innovative; it’s essentially a wearable baby monitor. It’s not kid-friendly in the sense that they’ll get a ton of enjoyment out of wearing it — though maybe the company should consider a built-in binky — but it lets parents know a baby’s vital stats, such as activity level and skin temperature. And in the grand scheme of things, what’s more kid-friendly than safety? — Sarah Silbert , Senior Editor Best Maker-Friendly Technology: MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer While we’ve had a love affair with 3D printers for some time, consumer models haven’t quite reached the level of polish and sophistication that we expect from most of our gadgets. With MakerBot’s third Replicator, however, it’s clear that things have changed. With a nearly automated setup, easily replaceable cartridges and a sleek design, this marks the beginning of truly consumer-friendly 3D printing. — Christopher Trout , Managing Editor Best PC: Razer Project Christine With a field that mostly included refreshes of existing models, it was tough to get excited about PCs at this year’s CES. But Razer’s Project Christine is an important exception: It’s so innovative, in fact, that it doesn’t even look like a computer. In addition to its futuristic digs, we were instantly smitten with its modular design, which makes replacing the GPU as simple as inserting a pod into one of the many, many expansion bays. Project Christine could mark the beginning of plug-and-play PC upgrades for gaming machines and, with time, it could change the way OEMs design regular computers, too. — Dana Wollman , Managing Editor Best of the Best: Oculus Rift ‘Crystal Cove’ prototype Virtual reality has captured the imagination of developers, consumers and businesses for decades, but all VR headsets produced so far have been notable more for their limitations than their capabilities. With its latest prototype, Oculus VR has taken a huge leap forward, eliminating the stomach-churning motion blur that has plagued previous generations of VR headsets, and adding sensors and a camera to track the position of both your head and body and provide more accurate simulated movement. With the Rift, Oculus has created a device that may usher in an era of truly immersive gaming and entertainment, and even create new opportunities for businesses to use virtual reality in everything from manufacturing to medical environments. Of all the exciting, innovative products we’ve seen at CES this year, the Oculus Rift “Crystal Cove” prototype is unquestionably the best of the best. — Marc Perton , Executive Editor Comments

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Presenting our Best of CES 2014 Awards winners


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