The T3 Awards 2015 driven by Continental
The T3 Awards driven by Continental are over for another year, and 2015 has been a bumper year for big names and the best awards in tech.
Our categories spread far and wide throughout the tech sphere to encompass everything you’d want for your home, work and social life.
From wearables to TVs, cars to tech to make your home feel like The Jetsons - we’ve given it all an award tonight across an unprecedented 13 categories.
Believe us when they say they were closely fought over numerous cups of coffee and some slightly substandard croissants. The winners were argued out by our panel of expert judges alongside the all important public vote (well done if you took part!).
Here's everything that won (we've listed them in the order they were presented, in case you were wondering!).
Camera of the Year: Olympus EM-5 Mk II
Camera of the year is always one of the hardest fought categories at the T3 Awards because of the pure breadth of the category. Whether it’s a compact, SLR or an action camera it’s included here and the Olympus EM-5 Mk II managed to walk away with the title this year.
Boasting a retro look but packed full of the latest features, Olympus deserved this award for combining everything you need in a camera into this easy to move and shoot package.
Even though your smartphone is likely to have some impressive camera features, this is still going to give you a much better picture and proves exactly why there’s still a market for dedicated cameras.
Design Innovation Award: Microsoft HoloLens
Possibly the most futuristic looking product to win an award tonight, the Microsoft HoloLens manages to make VR headsets look old school. With a strange visor at the front it looks like something from a high-concept science fiction movie, but also something you wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear around your home.
We love what we’ve seen of the HoloLens in action so far, especially how it can make Minecraft feel like an even cooler version of Lego. Plus the possibilities are endless with HoloLens – as more and more developers get involved in the project there will be even more impressive features than just watching a virtual TV on your wall.
The Sound Award: Naim Mu-so
This year we decided to combine speaker systems and headphones into one special award just for audiophiles. The Naim Mu-so ran away with this award by reinventing the way we think about wireless speakers.
Released right at the start of 2015, the Naim Mu-so passed some by but we gave it a five star review for its focus on emcompassing all streaming formats and managing to look like something you want in your living room – something a lot of speakers don’t manage to achieve.
This would look great in any techie’s living room and even though it’s quite expensive you’re going to get people dancing when you stick this on mid-way through your dinner party.
Tech Personality of the Year: Spencer Kelly
Spencer Kelly has been on the frontline of emerging tech since the year 2000 and has brought a lot of those innovations to the eyes of the public with the BBC’s own technology show, Click.
Kelly said, “When Father Christmas gave me an Acorn Electron [a budget version of the BBC Micro computer], my life changed forever. I never liked sports anyway, and this was a perfect opportunity to lock myself away and churn out kilobytes and kilobytes of computer programs to do all sorts of amazing things.”
He joins our ever growing list of celebrities to win this award including Richard Ayoade, Jason Bradbury and the BBC’s very own Rory Cellan-Jones.
Gaming product of the Year: Sony PlayStation 4
It may have launched back in 2013, but the Sony PlayStation 4 is still the undisputed king of the gaming market.
The console won the same award last year but has since built on what it could originally do with more exclusive triple A titles, the introduction of Project Morpheus (now known as PlayStation VR) and a cracking year for PS Plus. Rocket League, anyone?
On top of that there was also the introduction of the PS Now streaming service that allows you to play PS3 games on your console without even needing to download them.
Our highly commended award went to Facebook’s Oculus Rift.
Wearable of the Year: Apple Watch
Was there any other choice? Apple kicked up a real fuss, something Android Wear didn’t manage to do in the same way, when it launched late last year and then it was finally released at the start of 2015 to a big fanfare.
There are still criticisms as some still don’t see the use of having an iPhone on your wrist, but those people don’t know what they’re talking about…it’s an iPhone on your wrist!
The UI is innovative, it connects with your iPhone and it includes Apple Pay built in; there’s no surprise the Apple Watch won our favourite wearable of the year.
Car of the Year: BMW i8
Cars haven’t changed drastically in 2015, they still have four wheels and an engine… but BMW sure got the closest with the i8. It is a petrol-electric hybrid that comes with a futuristic design that manages to look stylish as well.
It’s a silent runner, so when everyone else in their supercars are revving their engines you can glide by and don’t have to make a single noise to turn everybody’s heads.
Our highly commended award went to the Tesla Model S P85D.
Entertainment Award: Amazon Instant Video
Netflix won this award last year with its original content and strong back catalogue, but now Amazon’s alternative service has pulled out ahead of the big red one and made an even more impressive offering.
With buffer-free HD streaming and new additions to the catalogue that make any Netflix subscriber jealous, there was no other choice here this year.
Add on top the original programming such as Bosh, Transparent and Alpha House and you've got your moneys worth. Plus on top of that you can now download films and TV shows to watch whilst away from your internet connection. Genius. Your move, Netflix.
Laptop or Tablet of the Year: iPad Air 2
There’s no stopping the iPad Air 2 – it’s just a cut above the rest of what the market has to offer. Super-slim and super powerful, the iPad Air 2 is almost a year old now and still beats every other tablet on the market.
Stick a keyboard on it as well and you’ll be all prepped to be productive as well as using it as a device for your leisure. Combine that with all the apps you’ve got to choose from and it’s hard to justify spending money on a laptop.
Now fingers crossed Apple does it again and somehow manages to make it even better with an iPad Air 3.
TV of the Year: LG EC970V
It had to be a 4K offering in 2015, and LG’s latest effort in the TV market has changed the game considerably. Our judges praised LG for taking OLED technology by the horns and applying it to create some amazingly realistic and vibrant images on a big screen worthy of your techy living room.
The 4K resolution plus a curve and a beautiful webOS interface meant there was no other choice for the best TV on the market in 2015.
Our highly commended award went to Samsung’s JS9500 TV.
Outstanding Contribution: Palmer Luckey
This year sees the youngest winner of the Outstanding Contribution Award with it going to Palmer Luckey. He’s probably younger than you and is likely richer as well, and the 22-year-old has become a celebrity in his own right after creating the original Oculus Rift sat in his bedroom.
It’s the result of tinkering with lasers and Tesla coils from the age of 11 and by then time he hit adulthood he was ready to create the game changing VR product that has become shorthand for the entire medium.
We spoke to Luckey recently about the future of VR. He said, “With companies like Oculus, Sony and HTC all entering the space around the same time, over the next year or so we’re going to be seeing a huge explosion in the number of people who’ve had exposure to VR.”
Home Technology Award: Works with Nest
The home is one of the most exciting areas in technology right now, especially with the introduction of the Internet of Things – and Nest is the indisputable king of the market.
That doesn’t mean the company didn’t innovate this year though as it added a new thermostat, smoke alarms and even a camera to its range as well as the tech that won this award.
Works with Nest is a technology that means all of your products around the home can connect up and talk to each other – a real step toward being able to live like we are in The Jetsons’.
Phone of the Year: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Samsung had a tough time of it back in 2014 with the Galaxy S5 being critically panned at the start of the year and lacklustre sales of the Galaxy Note 4 not exciting anyone at the company.
But Samsung came back with a bang back in March and showed us the Galaxy S6 Edge. Almost the same phone as the Galaxy S6 – one that features a cracking processor and some amazing other features – but with curved screens on both the edges.
Before then we’d not seen anything like it and it truly blew us out of the water. That screen is something else and it’s still one of the best handsets on the market when it comes to camera and pure power.
Brand of the Year: Apple
Apple doesn’t know the definition of a quiet year. In the time period the T3 Awards 2015 covers we saw the introduction of the iPhone 6, Apple Watch and even the companies first ever phablet, the iPhone 6 Plus.
iOS 8 came out and blew everyone away with its new design as well as some brand new MacBook’s with impressive technology hidden under their ultra-thin hoods.
But it wasn’t just hardware and software we’ve seen before – we saw the launch of Apple Music that took over Tidal and the entire streaming conversation. Fair game, Apple.
Hall of Fame: Microsoft Windows
Our second ever addition to the Hall of Fame is a company that has been at the front line of technology for over 40 years. Following last year’s inaugural award going to the Sony PlayStation, Microsoft’s Windows platform has now taken the title. And what a year for them to join our tech roster.
Windows 10 has just launched to critical acclaim and over 1.5 billion people around the world use Windows every single day. Few products have affected our lives in the same way Windows has, and it remains one of the key cornerstones of the technology industry.
Gadget of the Year: Apple Watch
Then there’s the big one, Gadget of the Year. Sony’s PlayStation 4 walked away with this award last year, but in 2015 Apple stole the show again with the best smartwatch you can buy right now.
The Apple Watch has made the world sit up and take notice of wearable technology and shown the everyman exactly what your wrist can be home to.
It’s the first wearable to be compatible directly with the iPhone range and strong sales have shown there will be more to come from Apple in the watch market. For now though, we know this is the must have gadget this year.
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