Trsz_belkin_apple_watch_dock.jpghe Consumer Electronics Show is a distant memory by now, but its effects are still being felt around the globe. Every year CES announces award winners for innovation, and many of those products’ manufacturers can be found at Best Buy.

The CES Innovation Awards is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products. For the complete list, hit up the CES website, or check out a partial list here. While some of these products will hit the market later in the year, some are already here.

BEST OF INNOVATIONS: Portable media players & accessories

Charge Dock for Apple Watch and iPhone by Belkin International
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Belkin is well known for their wide variety of cases, and skins, as well as for their smart home products like the WeMo line. They also make chargers, and this all-in-one was judged a great solution to iPhone and Apple Watch charging.
This dock allows users to charge both devices simultaneously (the watch hangs from a charging pad so it’s nicely displayed and gets juiced wirelessly) and also holds them at ideal viewing angles.

BEST OF INNOVATIONS: Computer hardware & components

HP ENVY Curved All-in-One PC by HP Inc.
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Tired of cramming all your windows into one small screen? Frustrated trying to make two computer monitors function as one?  Your solution comes from HP, who won the Innovation Award for the HP ENVY Curved All-in-One PC . According to HP it’s the “world’s widest curved All-in-One PC”. This high-res monitor has a 21:9 aspect ratio, 34-inch diagonal curved screen for a more immersive experience. The colour is said to be outstanding on this monitor, plus it comes with an Intel processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce 960A graphics, so you should have more than enough power for everything you do.

rsz_hp_curved_monitor.jpgBEST OF INNOVATIONS: Home audio-video components and accessories

Klipsch Reference Premiere Dolby Atmos Speaker System by Klipsch Group, Inc.
Get the award-winning speakers HERE

Klipsch speakers are in commercial Dolby Atmos cinemas because of their special sound principles: high-efficiency, low distortion and controlled directivity. Klipsch took its advanced cinema expertise to the home theater environment with Reference Premiere Dolby Atmos speakers.
If you’ve heard about Dolby Atmos, you’ll know it uses the ceiling (speakers hung from the ceiling, normally) to provide a more immersive sound. Klipsch has taken this idea to the next level; these speakers sit on the floor, but use an elevation channel integrated into the top of the speaker to reflect sound off the ceiling to deliver the overhead Dolby Atmos® experience. No hanging from the rafters required.


LG 77-inch OLED 4K TV (77G6) by LG Electronics
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What makes this TV an award winner may not be the advanced OLED 4K screen. It may not be the HDR Premium performance.  And it may not be the fact this TV’s smart. No, it’s all of those factors, combined with the amazingly thin design, according to the Innovation Awards judges. I saw LG’s TVs at the show and it’s impossible to tell you how thin they were; probably less than a centimetre thick. And the video… oh, the video. Stunning 4K picture so real you’d swear it was… well, real. Watch for these TVs as they begin to emerge onto the market.

BEST OF INNOVATIONS: Wireless handsets

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ by Samsung Electronics
Get the award-winning S6 edge+ HERE

It seems like such a simple idea; a phone where the screen goes edge-to-edge. But until Samsung did it, it didn’t exist.
The Galaxy S6 edge+ is a premium, dual-edge smartphone optimized for what CES judged termed, “an immersive multimedia experience, featuring a stunning 5.7-inch display, advanced camera with Live Broadcast and mobile payment capabilities.”
Smartphones are evolving into even smarter phones, and becoming more versatile and intuitive, working the way we need them to, and not forcing us to adapt to them. That’s why Samsung picked up this award, because this is a phone that works for US.

BEST OF INNOVATIONS: Home appliances

Somabar Robotic Bartender by Somabar

rsz_somabar_cocktails.jpgMixing drinks: you’re either good at it or you’re not. If your friends are always getting you to fix their cocktails, great.  For those of us for whom a Sidecar comes out tasting like a Spare Tire, there’s this genius Innovation Award winner, dubbed “the world’s smartest bartender.”

Somabar will mix drinks for you, by using Wi-Fi connectivity, onboard sensors, electronic ingredient tagging and automated cleaning that will make your next bash as easy as pressing a button. If only cleanup were so easy!

If you fancy yourself a pro in the cocktail department, you still may want to give Somabar a try because you could become a worldwide bartending sensation: using the Somabar app, you can share and create cocktails with anyone around the globe in seconds.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3.jpg

BEST OF INNOVATIONS: Tablets, e-readers, & mobile computing

YOGA Tab 3 Pro by Lenovo Corp.

Get the award-winning YOGA Tab 3 HERE.

Tablets are old news. But a multimedia tablet with a built-in projector? Now that’s different! The Lenovo YOGA Tab 3  Pro transforms a wall or ceiling into a brilliant 70″ screen, providing a theater-level experience that way, or on the brilliant 10.1″ QHD display, and the integrated JBL 4-speaker sound bar. This tablet gets up to 18 hours of use on a single charge. It also boasts a rotatable camera, and its cool kickstand design works in four ways to stand, tilt, hold or even hang. For those reasons it’s a winner at CES 2016.


sengled-voice.jpgSengled Voice Bulb by Sengled
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You’ve heard of smart lights and portable bluetooth speakers. But what about a lightbulb with speakers that also offers voice control of devices, voice interaction with the cloud and enhanced home security by detecting  sounds like glass breaking and a baby crying? That’s the Sengled difference. The bulb was chosen as an award winner because it’s said to be widely intelligent in many areas of the home while reducing gadget clutter. Its ability to replace a number of gadgets in your home will definitely make it a standout in 2016.


Wireless-AC5300 Tri-band Router by ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
Get the award-winning ASUS router HERE.

What’s so innovative about a router? The RT-AC5300 is the world’s fastest tri-band wireless router. It uses one 2.4 GHz and two 5 GHz bands to deliver Wi-Fi speeds of up to 5334 Mbps with NitroQAM technology. The 4×4 antenna design with “AiRadar beamforming” means it will be able to cover the biggest spaces (5000 sq ft) with just one device; no boosting required!

That might be router overkill for many homes but if you have a small business or several people using bandwidth, this might be your future router.

Did you see a cool gadget or find a favourite from CES 2016? Or maybe one of these is on your wishlist. Let us know which of these Innovation Award winners YOU’D most like to have in your home in comments below.


Erin Lawrence
Editor TV and Home Theatre
Erin is a journalist, writer, and TV producer with a fascination for technology and a love of gadgets. Check out her blog