Trender Research™

Technology meets people.


Below are the finalists for the Trender Awards. The Trender Awards were created to honor gadgets and services that are not only cool, novel, and improve people's lives in some way, but also have appeal to everyday folks.

Process

At final count we had almost 100 products or services for consideration. More than half of these products Trender Research has already covered or are from companies with which we have had direct contact. A small group of Trenders helped me to put together the "Short List", added to the list, and helped organize the categories. Now the list goes on to all Trenders (excluding our Vendor Trender friends) for final feedback and their votes. The winners will be announced next week.

Selection Methodology

A few words on how we chose these products. We tried to filter out products that do not hit a sweet-spot of functionality, usability, and value (in other words "nerd food"). That means that price and technical complexity are certainly factors, but are also somewhat relative to the demographics of each category. For example, whole-house video, audio, and security systems are not cheap and usually involve some level of technical proficiency to install, but mass-market photo solutions really need to be inexpensive and easy to use. That being said, Trender Research looks through a filter of what everyday folks might actually use and as a result what products have a decent chance of becoming mainstream, at least within their target markets. So we looked at factors such as price and ease of installation/use, but also psychological and marketing factors such as understandability, branding, appeal to a wide demographic set, advertising, accessibility of channels, access to customer support, etc. Also, for the product categories below for "new" products, we used a somewhat loose definition of products launched within the past 12 months. For "upcoming" products, we looked at products or services that are either in beta trials or anticipated for launch this year.

Without further adieu, here is the list... (with hyperlinks to Trender or outside coverage).


Mega Trender Award: “Best Overall New Product/Service for Everyday Folks”
Apple “iPhone”
Hulu.com
VidTel

Trender Award: “Best Video Product”
Allio “Lite HDTV/PC”
Belkin “FlyWire”
EchoStar “SlingLoaded 922 HD DVR”
Eviant “The Card Series Portable Digital Television Sets”
IOGEAR “Wireless USB Audio/Video Kit”
ZeeVee “ZvBox 100”

Trender Award: “Best Video Service or Portal”
ABC.com
Boxee
Hulu.com
ZeeVee “Zinc”

Trender Award: “Best HDTV Brand”
Samsung
Vizio

Trender Award: “Best Communications Product/Service”
PDT “Minoru 3D Webcam”
VidTel
Vonage

Trender Award: “Best Mobile Product/Service”
Apple “iPhone”
Research In Motion “BlackBerry Storm”
Networks in Motion “AAA Mobile”

Trender Award: “Best GPS/Navigation Product/Service”
Garmin “nuvi 200 series”
Tom-Tom “GO 740 LIVE”
Networks in Motion “AAA Mobile”

Trender Award: “Best Photo Product/Service”
Digital Foci “Image Moments 8”
Digital Foci “Photo Book”
GigaTribe
Unibind “Photos N Sounds”

Trender Award: “Best Audio Product/Service”
Apple “ iTunes”
Sonos "Multi-Room Music System"
Sony “Under-Cabinet Kitchen CD/Clock Radio”

Trender Award: “Best Accessory/Peripheral Product”
Covington Creations “Earbud Yo-Yo”
iGo “iGo Everywhere Wall and Auto Charger”
Nextar “Solar Bluetooth Car Kit”
Other World Computing “Mercury On-The-Go”
OtterBox “Defender Series”
Zagg “Z.buds”

Trender Award: “Best Security Product/Service”
Black & Decker “Wireless and Remote Access Control Solution”
Cernium “Archerfish”
Eaton Corporation “Home Heartbeat”
Swann “DIY Doorbell Video Intercom”

Trender Award: “Best Robotics Product”
iRobot “Roomba”
iRobot “Dirt Dog”
WowWee “Rovio”

Trender-Blender Award: “Best Convergence Product/Service”
Allio “Lite HDTV/PC”
VidTel
WowWee “Rovio”

Trender-Render Award: “Best User Interface for Any Product/Service”
Apple “iPhone”
Sling Media “SlingGuide”
Sling Media “SlingPlayer Mobile”
Sonos “iPhone Controller”

Trender-Sender Award: “Send It! Best Hoped-For Upcoming Product/Service in 2009”
GigaTribe
VidTel

Trender-Mender Award: “Most Improved Product Line”
Palm “Pre”
Sling Media “SlingCatcher”
ZeeVee “ZvPro 250”

Trender-Gender Award for Men: “Best Product/Service for Men”
Meade “ETX-LS Telescope”
Sling Media “SlingBox”
Sonos "Multi-Room Music System"
WowWee “Rovio”

Trender-Gender Award for Women: “Best Product/Service for Women”
Apple “iPhone”
Lok8u “Nu.M8”
Nintendo “Wii Fit”
Sony “Under-Cabinet Kitchen CD/Clock Radio”

Tender-Trender Award: “Best Product for Kids”
Lok8u “Nu.M8”
Nintendo “Wii”
WowWee “Roboquad”

Trender Award: “Best Embedded/Enabling Technology”
Active Video Networks
MoCA
NavTeq
Pulse~Link “CWave Whole-Home Interactive HD”
Yahoo Widgets

Trender-Pretender Award: “Most Overrated Product/Service”
• Microsoft “Windows Vista”
Powermat
Sennheiser “HD 800”

Trender-Ender Award: “Death of a Product/Service Category”
• Dedicated Photo Printers
• Dedicated Fax Machines
• In-Dash Navigation Systems
• Non-Digital Cameras

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