CES 2012: Best of Innovation Awards

Every year in early January, the global consumer electronics industry gathers in Las Vegas for CES, the world's biggest consumer electronics trade event.

It's the launchpad for most companies' new product ranges for the coming year, and a showcase for emerging technologies, from computers and home automation to hi-fi and all forms of home entertainment.

One of the highlights of the show is its showcase of cutting-edge new tech, highlighted in the Innovations Design and Engineering Awards.

Since 1976, the Awards have given consumer manufacturers and developers an opportunity to have their newest products judged by a panel of experts, including independent industrial designers and engineers.

Products chosen as the most impressive in each category are selected as honorees and can be seen at CES in the Innovations Design and Engineering Awards Showcase.

As a taste of what's in store for 2012, here are some of the 'Innovation Honorees' chosen so far:

Category: High Performance Home Audio

Devialet D-Premier

A combined preamp, analogue-digital hybrid stereo power amp and a digital-to-analogue converter in a single case

Category: Software and mobile apps

MyFord Mobile

Ford’s MyFord Mobile app allows Focus Electric drivers to control car functions via a smartphone or website.

Category: Personal Electronics

Libratone Live

AirPlay wireless speaker system, available in six colours.

Category: Gaming hardware and accessories

Razer Blade

An aluminium chassis laptop designed specifically for gaming.

Category: Home theatre speakers

Reality Design SonicBlade

The world's first glass plinth speaker that combines an electrostatic

sonic panel with conventional cone technology to deliver "premium sound at a realistic cost".

Category: Headphones

Sonomax Technologies eers in-ear headphones

Custom-fit in-ear headphones that are moulded to fit your ears in just four minutes.

Category: Tablets, e-readers and Netbooks

Sony Tablet S1

Rival to Apple's iPad, which is PlayStation certified.

Category: Wireless handsets

HTC Amaze 4G

The HTC Amaze 4G is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and runs Android 2.3. It hast a 4.3-inch qHD Super LCD display and an advanced 8-megapixel camera.

Category: Audio components

Altec Lansing InAir 5000 AirPlay speaker

The InAir 5000 wireless AirPlay speaker (MA5000) is a tri-amp, hi-fi system that allows iOS and iTunes users to stream music over their wi-fi network.

Category: Audio components

NAD Viso 1

Wireless streaming iPod docking system.

Category: Audio components

Philips Fidelio SoundRing

A portable, rechargeable speaker designed with Philips SoundRing and AirPlay technology.

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.