Xmas Open Forum: What was your favorite piece of tech from 2016?

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

There’s just over one week left before we wave goodbye to 2016. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 may have been the biggest story of the year for all the wrong reasons, but we’ve still seen some amazing pieces of technology hit the market across the last 12 months.

In the world of Smartphones, Google gave us what’s been called “the best Android experience yet,” with its Pixel handsets. And while it may lack a headphone jack, the majority of Apple fans love the iPhone 7/7 Plus. Then there are the year’s other great handsets, such as the excellent value OnePlus 3, the popular iPhone SE, and the phone that I love but which caused me so many problems, the Galaxy S7 Edge.

Maybe you’d pick a laptop such as Dell’s refreshed XPS 13 as your device of the year. Perhaps you think the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets are criminally underrated. Or do your tastes lie with PC hardware? My own pick for 2016’s tech of the year is for Nvidia’s amazing GeForce GTX 1070 GPU.

Whether you’ve loved a mainstream release or a lesser-known product, a new TV or a cutting-edge drone, please let us know what you think deserves the award for 2016’s best piece of technology in the comments below.

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Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
I didn't have one but the most useful piece of tech I bought this year was a Wahoo HRM chest strap. It' is very useful to me while working out.
 

rvnwlfdroid

TS Booster
I would say there are 2. The first would be my Samsung Iconx earbuds. It's the first pair (after more than I care to remember buying) that feel comfortable for more than 10 mins. I use them nearly every day. Second would be Anki Overdrive. Slot cars as a kid bring back so many good memories with me and my dad (who passed away this year). When I set it up and start to race/play it reminds me of the first slot car set I got for Christmas and how my dad and me spent the whole day playing with it. We would play with it a couple of times a week. Although I am trying to imagine my dads reaction to this new set. Changing lanes, weapons, using a smart device to control it, AI opponents.
 

Lurker101

TS Evangelist
I still think the Note 7 was the greatest piece of tech in 2016. It may have been short lived, but it was the bomb! It was one of the hottest phones of the year and just exploded when it was released to the public.
 
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MarkHughes

TS Addict
I would have to say my Dell XPS15, Only had it a month but it has exceeded expectations and easily does everything I need. The battery life is great (sometimes over 10 hours!) I think the only thing I don't like is the inevitable nvidia 10XX version that will come out soon. oh well :)
 

Bubbajim

TechSpot Staff
Staff member
HTC Vive, HTC Vive, HTC Vive!! Every time I put it on I fall in love with it all over again. Can't believe how good VR is with Roomscale tracking
 
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techrules

TS Rookie
This is an easy one, the Google Home.

Purchased the Echo when it launched and now had the Google Home for four weeks.

Basically the Echo you use commands where you talk to the Google Home naturally. The Echo will handle some fuzziness but fundamentally they are variations to commands instead of fundamentally understanding what you are saying.

So with the Echo you might do a quick Google search with a lyric to get a song name and then ask the Echo to play. With the Google Home you skip the Google search step.

I am starting to learn a shorter english as the inference is so incredible with the Google Home. So say "hey google play sting gwen bottle on tv". Google figures out that I want to watch a video of Gwen Stefani and Sting singing message in a bottle on my TV. It then turns the TV on, sets the proper input, and the video starts playing.

Our brains inference capabilities allow us to communicate with one another in a compressed manner. Information can be inferred versus being said. This is what Google is doing and for some (many?) things they can do better than a human.
Maybe it is because I have an engineering background but the Google Home from a technology standpoint and what Google is doing just blows me away.

The demo that most blows people away is the Google Photos with the Google Home. A bunch of people over for the holiday and someone asks how was your trip? You just say would you like to see a few pics? You just say "hey google show my photos of kenny in Maui". The TV turns itself on, input set, and photos of my son Kenny playing on the beach in Maui displays". Someone asks did you guys snorkel?

I simply ask Google to show photos of Molokini and then photos of us snorkeling at Molokini and unfortunately pics of where I forced the kids to Kayak to Molokini from the hotel. Wind changed, almost died, fantastic Coast Guard picked us up and took us back to the hotel where we were yelled at because suppose to check in once an hour. Just what happens when wife does not join me and the kids on vacation.

Then my oldest said I remember snorkeling there. Then you just say show Tommy snorkeling at Molokini. My wife had scanned and loaded 1000s of photos into Google Photos and to the shock of my oldest son photos both above and underwater display of him at Molokini.

This is simply off the charts incredible from a technology standpoint. Might be a bias for me but simply wow!
Basically one shutter click and nothing else and three months later you are in your family room without touching a single thing showing the photos. There is no more friction that can be removed.
 
My fav piece was the one that lets the NSA and co spy on everyone on the entire internet, at will. I think that's really impressive and I hope they'll open-source that shizz someday!
You misread the article, its supposed to be your favorite tech from 2016. The NSA had " that " tech for over a decade.
 

Kunming

TS Maniac
You misread the article, its supposed to be your favorite tech from 2016. The NSA had " that " tech for over a decade.
So lemme get this straight... You're not signed up for their newsletter updates?! Oh boy, you missed this years great updates! The directors say, they might even make more commits to their github acc !
 

Radical

TS Enthusiast
I would have to say my Dell XPS15, Only had it a month but it has exceeded expectations and easily does everything I need. The battery life is great (sometimes over 10 hours!) I think the only thing I don't like is the inevitable nvidia 10XX version that will come out soon. oh well :)
Yeah... Probably should have waited like two more weeks. Apparently Kaby Lake XPS15 coming out at CES (see Anandtech). Hope you got a mad deal...