The 100 Greatest Innovations Of The Year

Popular Science's Best Of What's New Awards, all in one place

Each year, Popular Science picks the 100 greatest new innovations in technology to feature in our Best Of What's New issue. Discover the most exciting developments in consumer gadgets, sustainability, medicine, automobiles and more.

Follow links in the captions to our special Best Of What's New website for in-depth analysis, Q&As, and our Grand Award winners.

Apple Mac Pro
Apple Mac Pro
By streamlining cooling into a single aluminum thermal core, the wizards at Apple packed a powerful desktop computer into their smallest package yet.Jonathan Kambouris
Intel 14nm 'Broadwell' Wafer
Intel Core M
Speaking of small, this wafer of a processor cuts power consumption by 60 percent and size by half, paving the way for thinner, cooler tablets and laptops.Intel
WiGig
WiGig
Welcome to the brave new world of 7 gigabyte per second wireless data transfer.Wi-Fi Alliance
Samsung 850 Pro Solid State Drive
Samsung 850 Pro
A solid state drive with double the endurance.Courtesy Samsung
Corsair Gaming K95 RGB
Corsair Gaming K95 RGB
This mechanical keyboard features 16.8 million possible color combinations from its programmable LED backlights—perfect for the truly hardcore gamer who likes to keep things organized.Jonathan Kambouris
POC Helmet Integrity System
POC Helmet Integrity System
Helmets wear out, but normal ones don't tell you when they do. POC's Helmet Integrity System seeks to change all that.Jonathon Kambouris
Abominable Labs F-BOM
Abominable Labs F-BOM
If you ski, you're probably accustomed to the frustration of fog and snow on your goggles. These heated F-BOM goggles provide the solution.Jonathon Kambouris
AvaTech SP-1
AvaTech SP-1
This networked probe aims to crowdsource avalanche safety for skiers.Courtesy AvaTech
Shimano XTR Di2 M9050
Shimano XTR Di2 M9050
Shimano and Fox created the first integrated, programmable mountain bike, enabling riders to minutely control their rides in new ways.Courtesy Shimano
Zwift
Zwift
This video game connects to your training bike to let you compete on famous courses with the pros.Courtesy Zwift
94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball
94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball
This basketball networks with your cell phone to quantify your dribble.Courtesy 94Fifty
Vision Aerial SwitchBlade-Pro
Vision Aerial SwitchBlade-Pro
Vision Aerial introduces a tricopter, GoPro-capable drone tailored to follow your high-speed exploits.Jonathan Kambouris
Polaris TerrainArmor
Polaris TerrainArmor
The first consumer ATV to feature tires that never go flat.Courtesy Polaris
Acer XB280HK
Acer XB280HK
From Acer: the first 4K monitor to sync framerates in real time with your graphics card, for cinematic gaming.Courtesy Acer
KONE UltraRope
KONE UltraRope
This super-light, super-strong elevator cable cuts the shackles limiting architects' sky-high visions.Courtesy Kone
Whooshh Fish Transport System
Whooshh Fish Transport System
Dam lacking a fish ladder? Too broke to build one? Enter the salmon cannon.Whooshh
U.S. Naval Research Lab Electrochemical Acidification Carbon Capture Skid
U.S. Naval Research Lab Electrochemical Acidification Carbon Capture Skid
Seawater is full of carbon dioxide and hydrogen, which just happen to be two key ingredients in hydrocarbon fuels. Soon, this innovation could allow ships to mass-produce their own fuel at sea.U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
Solar Roadways
Solar Roadways
Solar Roadways wants to turn your street into a giant solar panel, and with serious funding coming their way they might just get it done.Courtesy Solar Roadways
Philips and Green Sense Farms
Philips and Green Sense Farms
For the first time, vertical agriculture outperforms its flat, boring cousin.Courtesy Philips
Nikken Sekkei BioSkin
Nikken Sekkei BioSkin
This building wrap fights urban heat island effects, and it looks nice too.Courtesy Nikken
Crabster CR200
Crabster CR200
The Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering produced this six-legged, 1,500-pound mechanical underwater robot to help scientists explore parts of the ocean floor inhospitable to divers.Courtesy Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering
Newlight Technologies Aircarbon
Newlight Technologies Aircarbon
Carbon captured from a dairy farm's refuse forms the basis of the plastic in this chair. How's that for recycling?Jonathan Kambouris
Sydney, Australia
One Central Park, Sydney
Hydroponic gardens are just the first of many biomimicry technologies underpinning this futuristic complex.Rob Deutscher via Flickr/CC BY 2.0
Motiv Electric Powertrain Control System
Electric cars are so passé. Electric powertrains are helping brutes like this garbage truck go green.Courtesy Motiv Power Systems
Aquion Energy AHI Technology
Today's batteries are the least green part of green energy. This non-toxic, scalable, safe, saltwater system could mean a brighter future for energy storage.Courtesy Aquion Energy
Corktown Common
This Toronto park recycles rainwater, achieving unprecedented hydroefficiency and fighting flooding.Courtesy Waterfront Toronto
crickets
Eating Crickets
Cricket cooking culture is on the rise. Read our Q&A with Mario Hernandez of New York City's Black Ant restaurant, one of the chefs driving the bug-eating frenzy.Arpingstone via Wikimedia Commons
Ecosphere Powercube
Modern generators are hugely inefficient, while remaining critical in wartime and disaster zones. This portable machine takes only a minute's set up before pumping out power, clean water, and communications.Courtesy Ecosphere Technologies
Ford F-150
Ford F-150
America's leading truck for 32 years swapped out steel in its frame for an aluminum alloy that performs even better and cuts 700 pounds from the vehicle's weight.Courtesy Ford
GM 4G LTE
General Motor became the first automaker to offer 4G LTE connectivity at scale.Courtesy GM
Toyota FCV
Hydrogen fuel cells are no longer science fiction. Toyota's rolling out production FCVs in Japan early next year and in the U.S. in late 2015.Courtesy Toyota
Evatran Plugless L2
This wireless charging adapter can fit to almost any electric vehicle and allow drivers to skip the plug after a long commute.Courtesy Evatran
Porsche 918 Spyder
Porsche 918 Spyder
This futuristic supercar retains the ability to ramp up from zero to 60 in 2.5 seconds in a hybrid system.Courtesy Porsche
Spark-Renault SRT 01E
This electric racecar packs the massive torque to outperform Formula One vehicles in some conditions, and its just the beginning.Courtesy Amlin Aguri
Michelin Premiere A/S Tire
This new tire's grooves widen over time, the reverse of other models, letting it grip the road better longer.Courtesy Michelin
Nissan Murano
The collision detections system in the latest Murano sees hundreds of feet past the first car ahead to avoid crashes even before other drivers hit the brakes.Courtesy Nissan
Volvo Drive-E Engine
This four-cylinder engine manages the power of a conventional five or six, while cutting 100 pounds of weight.Courtesy Volvo
Rolls-Royce Wraith
Rolls-Royce Wraith
This super-smart luxury car senses bumps and dips before they arrive, adjusting its transmission and suspension to match. This means a smoother ride and more power power from the engine.Courtesy Rolls-Royce
Dolby Atmos For Home
Dolby Atmos For Home
Dolby pioneered surround-sound technology years ago, and now they're taking it into the third dimension for true immersionDolby Atmos
IMAX Digital 3D Camera
IMAX Digital 3D Camera
This new 3D camera from IMAX is light and quiet enough to push the boundaries of cinematography for really really really really big screen.IMAX
Lego Fusion
Augmented reality comes to the play den as kids gain the power to upload their physical creations into virtual worlds.Jonathon Kambouris
Blue Microphones Mo-Fi
Blue Microphones Mo-Fi
These headphones include on-board amplification in order to bring true hi-fi to low-powered devices.Jonathan Kambouris
4K Streaming
Netflix Ultra-HD Streaming
A new kind of compression puts Netflix at the forefront of ultra high definition delivery.Courtesy Netflix
TiVo Roamio OTA
This new TiVo system can record from the airwaves, leaving cable behind.Courtesy TiVo
Samsung UN78S9B
Samsung UN78S9B
This new Samsung television adjusts its curvature to accommodate small or large crowds.Courtesy Samsung
Sony Playstation TV
Sony Playstation TV
Streaming comes to video game consoles, courtesy of Sony.Sony
WowWee MiP
WowWee MiP
You love robots. (It's not a question.) This self-balancing wonder stays upright, responds to gesture commands, carries small items, and syncs with its buddies.Jonathan Kambouris
Dragon V2
It's like the original Dragon, only better. And NASA chose it to send astronauts into space.SpaceX
Google X Project Wing
These Google delivery drones fly like airplanes, hover like helicopters, and lower packages by long cables to protect machines and bystanders. What's not to love?Google
Chang'e-3
When its rover deployed, China became just the third nation to succeed in a soft landing on the moon.Chinese Academy of Sciences
Northrop Grumman RQ-180
The DoD recently confirmed the existence of this super-stealth drone.Popular Science
Icon Aircraft Icon A5
Hobbyists should love this light, versatile, collapsable two-seater airplane.Courtesy Icon
Hybrid Air Vehicles Airlander
The world's longest, largest aircraft incorporates an innovative shape to keep it aloft for days.Courtesy Hybrid Air Vehicles
Airbus E-Fan
This emissions-free, battery powered plane will carry pilots in training for 75-minutes flights.Courtesy Airbus
E-volo Volocopter
This commuter copter wildly differs from anything else in the air.Courtesy E-volo
Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD)
NASA built a supersonic brake for landing on faraway planets, and it's amazing.Courtesy JPL
Honda Aircraft Company HondaJet
It turns out that when you put the engines on top of the wings the whole airplane improves.Courtesy Honda Aircraft Company
Sony α7S
Sony α7S
Sony's new mirrorless interchangeable lens camera is extraordinarily sensitive to low light, making nighttime photos—wait for it—a snap.Jonathan Kambouris
Blackphone
This new Android cell phone encrypts calls and texts, locking out whoever might be listening.Courtesy Blackphone
Kyocera Sapphire Shield
This sapphire display survives falls, scratches, and other indignities of everyday cellphone use.Courtesy Kyocera
LG Display Flexible OLED
It's here: a mass-produced, truly flexible screen.Courtesy LG
360fly
This 360 degree by 270 degree camera captures the immersive views necessary for virtual reality.Jonathon Kambouris
Adobe Ink & Slide
This stylus enables designers and artists to draw precise images on usually clunky touch screens.Courtesy Adobe
Apple iBeacon
These indoor locational awareness systems are brand new, but app developers are already coming up with an amazing range of tasks for the bluetooth gadgets.Courtesy Estimote
Stir Kinetic Desk
This sit-to-stand desk reminds you when it's time to shift.Courtesy Stir
Google Cardboard
Cardboard doesn't usually top the list of materials associated with tech giants, but this ultra-cheap virtual reality system should open new consumer frontiers for the technology.Jonathon Kambouris
Virtual Reality
Widespread, immersive virtual reality is on the cusp of becoming a reality. Read our Q&A with Jeremy Bailenson, founder of Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab.Oculus
Deka "Luke" Arm
Deka "Luke" Arm
This prosthetic so advanced is so advanced, it takes its name from Luke Skywalker's replacement limb in Star Wars.Jonathan Kambouris
Exact Sciences Cologuard
To combat evasion, Exact Sciences introduces this less invasive, home-use colon cancer screening.Courtesy Exact Sciences
Convergent Dental Solea
This laser machine takes the pain, numbing, and loud noise out of dentistry.Courtesy Convergent Dental
GoodLux Technologies SunSprite
This little device lets you know if you're not getting enough sun for your mental or bodily health.Jonathon Kambouris
The Walking Egg Lab
This stripped-down, mobile in-vitro fertilization lab cuts costs and improves access.Thomas Henry Huxley
Medrobotics Flex System
Medrobotics Flex System
This tooled robotic snake with a high-definition camera allows less invasive surgeries with easier recoveries.Courtesy Medrobotics Corporation
RevMedx XStat
RevMedx XStat
These injectable sponges can enter open wounds to stop internal bleeding in the field for up to four hours.Jonathon Kambouris
Gilead Sciences Sovaldi
This first-of-its-kind drug cures Hepatitis C in weeks. Wow.Courtesy Gilead Sciences
Sproutling baby monitor
Sproutling baby monitor
Like a FitBit for babies, this wearable monitor help parents keep their infants safe and tracks their habits.Courtesy Sproutling
Clever Medkit
Clever Medkit
This cloud-connected medical kit points users to the right treatments and tracks its stocks.Popular Science
Black & Decker 20v Max Lithium Cordless Drill With Autosense Technology
Black & Decker 20v Max Lithium Cordless Drill With Autosense Technology
The folks at Black & Decker have designed a sensor that detects major shifts in a screw's torque, stopping the motor before stripping the fastener or splintering wood.Jonathon Kambouris
Belkin WeMo Maker
This little apparatus makes any DC-powered device it's attached to "smart" and controllable by smartphone.Courtesy Belkin
Gorilla Clear Repair Tape
Love duct tape but hate the look? This new adhesive strip from Gorilla performs the same function but is perfectly clear.Jonathon Kambouris
Remington iCoffee SteamBrew
This drip-style coffee maker produces the artisanal flavors of a true French press.Courtesy Remington
CleanAlert FilterScan WiFi
This smart sensor emails you when your filters are clogged, a common cause of HVAC inefficiency.Courtesy CleanAlert
Kohler Touchless Flush Kit
This kit turns just about any toilet into a hands-free flusher.Courtesy Kohler
LG EcoHybrid Dryer DLHX4072V
LG EcoHybrid Dryer DLHX4072V
This dryer cuts the power-hungry staple's electricity consumption in half.LG
T-fal OptiGrill
T-fal OptiGrill
Sensors in this barbecue tell you when your meat is done to your liking, ending the guesswork in grilling.Jonathon Kambouris
Toro Recycler with SmartStow
Toro Recycler with SmartStow
New motor tech enables this lawnmower to take up half the space in storage.Brian Klutch
Google Android Wear
Google Android Wear
While no hardware leader has emerged in the smartwatch market, Google has standardized the wearable operating system with its ubiquitous software.Jonathon Kambouris
3-D Manipulation
For the first time, software geared toward average users will allow photo editors to move objects in 3D space.Carnegie Mellon University
Humin
Humin provides a contact list that works like your brain, organizing people by context, not the alphabet.Courtesy Humin
Popcorn Time
File sharing meets streaming in this legal-ish software wonder.Popcorn Time
Titanfall
This console game outsources the bulk of its processing to the cloud, enabling high performance without lag time.Courtesy Respawn
Apple OS X Yosemite
Yosemite is the first operating system from Apple to truly integrate its mobile and desktop user experiences.Courtesy Apple
Lock8
A bike lock that outsmarts thieves.Jonathon Kambouris
American Science & Engineering Mini Z
This sensor can read backscatter radiation bouncing off objects to see through solid objects in the field.Courtesy AS&E
Applied DNA Sciences SmokeCloak DNA
This smoke system brands intruders with harmless, unique plant DNA tags to prove they were at the scene.Courtesy Applied DNA Sciences
Carnegie Mellon University LiveLight
This software aims to cut time from investigations by sifting through security footage for important events.Courtesy Carnegie Mellon University
EyeLock Myris
The USB home iris scanner aims to replace passwords on computers.Jonathon Kambouris
University of Michigan Nanopillar Arrays With Polymer Multilayers
This label fights counterfeit drugs by proving a medicine's legitimacy when it's breathed on.Courtesy University of Michigan Engineering Communications & Marketing
Ondot Systems Card Control
This app allows users to turn credit cards on and off from their cell phones, fighting fraud.Courtesy Ondot
Foscam FI9821P
This home security camera swivels at the command of a remote user on a tablet or phoneJonathon Kambouris
DARPA Flash
DARPA Flash
This new real-time data exchange system from DARPA aims to save firefighters' lives by tracking their position against hazards.DARPA