There was some hot competition this year including SkyQ and iPad Pro
The most prestigious of all the gongs at the T3 Awards, this represents the gold standard in gadgetry for 2016. The winning product will have transcended its particular category, as well as capturing the attention and affection of consumers – both tech-loving and mainstream – more than any other piece of kit over the past 12 months.
Ultimately, our Gadget of the Year will stand out at the very top of its class – the best you can get.
While you could argue that virtual reality is still in its infancy, and the products associated with it are relatively niche, there’s no doubt that it’s one of the most exciting areas of tech out there right now. And at the forefront of the revolution, there’s the HTC Vive. _ e Vive is a worthy winner of our most prestigious award, being a game-changer in every sense of the word. Fire up your PC, strap on the headset, grab the controllers, and you’re ready to be immersed in gaming worlds like no other. A major part of the Vive’s appeal is its full-body tracking.
Attach the two sensors to your walls, and the Vive will map your room, making sure you don’t bump into anything and giving you a playable area that works in virtually any space – and what’s more, you can see your lounge or gaming room as a wireframe representation when you’re not in a game. Once you’re in a SteamVR game (of which there are plenty), you can wander and look around as if you were there. And the innovative controllers make it possible to interact with objects in these virtual worlds.
It really has to be seen to be believed – and once you start, it’s tough to stop. Let’s go back to the controllers for a moment – these work almost like magic, with the tracking being so accurate, you can throw them up in the air and catch them with the headset on. And it’s great fun when they turn into guns or other futuristic controllers. Some of the launch titles were just wondrous – in particular, the incredible Tilt Brush from Google, which made it possible to paint with light in a virtual space, and then explore and interact with your art. Another was Hover Junkers – a rip-roaring multiplayer shooter that put you on a hovercraft.
Whatever the game, the Vive lets you experience it like never before. _ is product, along with Oculus’s Rift, pioneers the way for a new age of gaming. And with the PlayStation VR just around the corner, it can only get more exciting. As we said in our review earlier this year, the HTC Vive isn’t just another consumer tech product; it’s a work of art and a stroke of magic. And therefore, it’s our well-deserved Gadget of the Year.