The Best (and Worst) Innovations You Saw This Year

by Saeed Khan

The year is almost over and it’s time to start thinking about year-end lists.   There will be lots to choose from, but how many of them ask you for your input?

Well,  here’s your chance to speak out.

We’re looking for the best and worst innovations you saw this year. These could be products, inventions (not yet productized), services, or other innovations (business models, process etc.)

Just leave a comment below, and if possible a link to a web page with more information. And don’t forget to tell us whether it’s a candidate for “best” or “worst”.

We’ll look at them and compile a year end list ranking the top best and worst innovations in 2012.

Thanks in advance for your input.

But to get things kicked off, here’s are two candidates for best and worst respectively.

EnableTalk – Candidate for Best Innovation in 2012

There were lots of cool innovations this year but the EnableTalk glove tops my list right now. And in a world of sexy but ultimately throwaway technology and gadgets, this stands out.

In a nutshell, it’s a glove that converts hand gestures into speech, providing the possibility of enabling virtually anyone, but most importantly the deaf or mute to speak.  It is done with very inexpensive technology and has the potential to significantly benefit tens of millions of people worldwide. Take a look at the video below.

Wii U — Candidate for Worst Innovation in 2012

My candidate for one of the worst innovations of 2012 is the Nintendo Wii U.  Almost 6 years after the original and ground breaking Wii, Nintendo follows it up with an expensive new game console that fails to impress.

The most innovative change in the Wii U is also the most confusing. It’s the Wii U game pad. What the hell is that? Is it a touchscreen tablet, a game controller, a portable game console? Well it’s all of them  and it’s none of them.

The original Wii was a great innovation. It changed the way we interacted with video games, it was simple and fun, inexpensive and a great success.

I can say that the Wii U isn’t any of those things.  There is no compelling reason people should want to buy it.  At least none that I’ve seen articulated by Nintendo.  I’m no gamer fanatic, but I know a dud when I see it.

But maybe I’m wrong. You decide. Is it as bad an innovation as I think?


P.S. Don’t forget to submit your own best and worst entries for 2012 in the comments below.

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