Best of What Was New

In celebration of BOWN's 20th anniversary: highlights of our best (and, yes, worst) predictions about the important technologies of decades past
Sure, PC gaming existed before Myst, but the landmark first-person adventure game instantly raised the bar after taking the world by storm in 1994. The best-selling computer game of all time for almost the entire decade (The Sims overtook it in the late '90s), Myst counted among its many lures standout imagery and renderings. Today, graphics intrigue us as much as ever- witness DirectX 10, a winner this year in the computing category. As Windows Vista's 3-D rendering system, Direct X 10 shifts more of the heavy number-crunching to the graphics processor for previously impossible detail.

This week, we unveiled our 20th-annual Best of What’s New-our year-end list of the 100 greatest innovations in the world of science and technology. In honor of 20 glorious years of picking the best of the best, we’ve decided to take a look at some previous recipients of our top tech honors.

Yes, some of it looks a little dusty these days, but it’s still possible to trace many of this year’s cutting-edge winners back to their ancestors from the past two decades; as they say, innovation begets innovation. Dig the Jawbone Bluetooth headset, a winner this year in the gadgets category? Check out the monstrosity that started it all. Excited that consumer-level holographic storage is just around the corner? Might want to scope our 1992 prediction. From the 3-D camcorder bound to revolutionize home movies to the V-22 Osprey (finally flying 19 years after we first covered it), join us in looking back at 20 years of innovation. As for the next 20, this year’s picks are only the beginning.

Click here to launch the gallery of past winners.