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HWM+HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2019: Editor's Choice - Part 2

By Team HardwareZone - 14 Mar 2019

Innovation Awards

Innovation Award Winners

Apple Watch Series 4

With each passing year, the Apple Watch gets more focused, more polished, and more refined. The latest Apple Watch gets a minor redesign with a larger but flatter case. It doesn't sound like much, but it vastly changes the way the watch wears and looks on your wrist. It is a far more elegant device (as much as a smartwatch can be). It's also faster and has more features, the most noteworthy of which is its ability to generate ECG reports. Granted, this feature is only available in the US for now, but it should be coming to the rest of the world soon. The latest Apple Watch is so good that some would argue that it is Apple's most thoughtful product. We certainly do.

Read next: Apple Watch Series 4 review: The best Apple Watch yet


Creative Super X-Fi Headphone Holography

Like great inventions, Creative's Super X-Fi Headphone Holography technology is something you really need to experience to understand. After all, when you're wearing headphones, you expect the music to be going straight into your ears; not coming at you from all directions. Creative has managed to do something incredible by personalizing the way headphones play sound to perfectly match the individual make-up of our ears. By doing so, they're able to use your personal head-related transfer function to give you a cinematic audio experience that's independent of source. It doesn't work with all tracks, and the database of supported headphones definitely needs to grow much more. But when it does work, the result is nothing short of magical. And that's the beauty of good innovation. That it comes at a relatively cheap price is just a bonus.

Read next: What's next for Creative's SXFI technology?


Google Night Sight

Google's Night Sight on the Pixel phones is a clear example of computational photography done right. For most people, just think of it as night photography on steroids, designed to improve photos taken with lighting between 3 and 0.3 lux with just a single camera and no LED flash. Sure, traditional cameras have been capturing and merging multiple frames to get a better image for years, but do they also use a combination of hardware and software smarts to adjust for shaking hands, intelligently fill in colors, and do tone-mapping at the same time? All these combine to enable Night Sight's most amazing feature: the ability to "illuminate" scenes that are seemingly nearly pitch black. Try it and you will be amazed.

Read next: This is how Google’s Night Sight works on your Pixel phone


NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is one of the most expensive consumer graphics cards NVIDIA has released in a while. That said, it serves up bleeding-edge performance and comes with the latest ray-tracing technology baked in, so it is truly the card for those who are sure that they want the best and are willing to pay for it. However, what really makes it novel are the aforementioned ray tracing capabilities and the new Turing architecture. Ray tracing is a graphics rendering technique that involves following the path of light beams backward from your eye to the objects that the light ray interacts with. Normally, this requires immense computational power, which is why it’s been restricted mostly to the post-production stages of a movie, where filmmakers can take their time to render scenes and take advantage of render farms. But with Turing, NVIDIA could pave the way for a new generation of games that can generate photorealistic scenes in real-time.

Read next: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 shootout - All hail a new generation of cards

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