Innovation is everywhere: In sleek industrial design (Apple's iPod Nano), in unique technologies that enable new capabilities (Kodak's dual-lens EasyShare V570), and in products that bring the cost of high-end technologies down from the stratosphere (Sony's Handycam HDR-HC1 high-definition camcorder). Innovative products and services do it first, do it well, or re-imagine what's been done before. They're the kind of products that make you wonder: Why didn't I think of that?
It wasn't easy to narrow down this year's list of PC World Innovations Award winners--but the 25 hardware devices, software products, and Web services spotlighted here say a lot about where technology is today and where it's going. While some products, notably Fujitsu's LifeBook P1510D convertible Tablet PC/notebook and NEC's MultiSync LCD2180WG-LED monitor, are aimed at boosting productivity, this year's picks clearly have a common theme: The majority of them aim to change the way you consume media and entertainment--whether in the living room, the den, or on the go (see our methodology for more on how we made our picks).
As PC World Editor in Chief Harry McCracken noted in his recent Up Front column, many of these products defy clear categorization. Nonetheless, we've managed to group our 25 favorites into five categories: Audio, Cameras and Camcorders, Entertainment, Mobile and Wireless, and Video. And the winners are...
|Audio||Mobile and Wireless|
|Apple iPod Nano||Airgo True MIMO Gen3|
|Sonos Digital Music System||Fujitsu LifeBook P1510D|
|Yamaha RX-V4600||Google Earth|
|Yamaha YSP-1000||Nokia N91|
|Cameras and Camcorders||Panasonic Oxyride|
|JVC Everio GZ-MG70||Video|
|Kodak EasyShare V570||Maxtor Shared Storage Plus|
|Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1||Mitsubishi HC3000U|
|Sony Handycam HDR-HC1||NEC MultiSync LCD2180WG-LED|
|Entertainment||Sling Media Slingbox|
|Creative Zen Vision||Sony DVDirect VRD-MC1|
|Microsoft Xbox 360||Toshiba RD-XS54|
|Nintendo Nintendogs for Nintendo DS|