Considering hundreds of inventions worldwide, TIME magazine has picked what it considers the 25 best gadgets and concoctions of this year.
Covering a wide range of fields from electronics to clothing and food, the unranked list includes Apple’s latest flagship smartphone iPhone X, Tesla’s four-door sedan Model 3, Nintendo’s video game console Switch, and the viral toy fidget spinners.
The iPhone X, Apple’s 10th anniversary offering, is loaded with plenty of high-end hardware and new features, including a Face ID that unlocks the phone after recognizing the user’s facial features.
At US$999, the iPhone X is so far the most expensive iPhone model. “There’s a financial consequence to integrating the sheer amount of processing power into such a small device,” TIME quoted Jonathan Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, as saying.
The iPhone X is “in some sense a completion of a chapter”, Ive added.
TIME says the long-awaited Tesla Model 3 aims to overcome two typical challenges of electric cars: too expensive and too limited in range.
The demand for it is so high that Tesla is struggling to cope with the orders. Says TIME: “Vehicles like the Model 3 are likely to play a major role in combating climate change.”
The breakthrough electronic glasses eSight 3 are described in the report as “the world’s most powerful pair of glasses”. The glasses use magnification, contrast and proprietary algorithms to enhance the imagery into something the legally blind can see. According to the company, eSight3 has been used by more than 1,000 patients.
Jibo, the social robot made by the Boston-based startup of the same name, has also made it to the list, with TIME predicting that “it could fundamentally reshape how we interact with machines”.
“There was a threshold we had to reach in order to launch,” says Matt Revis, the company’s vice president of product management. “Now it’s part of the journey.”
TIME includes the fidget spinners in the list, dubbing them as “the ultimate distracters”.
“There is no denying their ubiquity,” the report says. While some manufacturers make specious claims about their therapeutic benefits, saying they’re “perfect for ADD, ADHD, anxiety and autism” but offering no conclusive scientific evidence to back them up, what’s undeniable is that the toys provide “hours of addictive fun”.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov. 21
Translation by Ben Ng with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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