A few weeks ago a guy named Danny emailed me asking for my opinion on an article he was writing. I don’t know Danny all that well, but he seems like a good guy and he’s the founder of an interesting startup called Blank Label that sells custom-made dress shirts via a nifty online interface. A full-on review of Blank Label might be in order the next time I need to wear a fancy shirt, actually.
Danny’s question was pretty simple and definitely thought-provoking, even if I was confused about the distinction between “Top Innovation” and “Top Underrated Innovation” (hey, I’m a nitpicker – it’s part of my job):
I’m pinging you because I’m working on a story for HuffingtonPost about the most underrated innovations of 2010 and wanted to ask a quick question: What was your #1 favorite innovation from 2010, and what was so awesome about it?
Surprise, surprise, I hit Danny back with two of my favorites from ’10. If you know me, you know I can never offer up only one answer to any question. My picks? Well, they both relate to this piece I posted last week regarding gesture-based computing:
#5 — Apple’s Magic Trackpad, death to the computer mouse
Put in much better words than I could ever form, Noah Kravitz, Editor at Large of TechnoBuffalo.com noted Apple’s multitouch gestures for touchscreen and trackpad devices. “Kids are growing up without buttons – they’re touching and swiping and gesturing and that’s the near-term future of interacting with technology. I thought Apple’s “Magic Trackpad” desktop peripheral was silly until I tried one, and now I use it every day with my Mac. Gestures have taken the idea of the two-button mouse and exploded it exponentially, offering more intuitive and efficient ways to navigate user interfaces and manipulate onscreen objects.”
#1 — Microsoft Kinect, augmenting gaming forever
A popular pick, which got the ball rolling, was Microsoft Kinect, the unbelievable new gaming technology that people have been dreaming of since gaming began, which has come to life allowing gamers to literally “get in the game” when your body becomes the remote controller. Heck, I thought it was cool playing with the Wii, but this is friggin’ awesome! Brian Ries, the tech and social media editor of The Daily Beastpointed to Jenna Wortham’s reporting on the NY Times Bits Blog. Brian noted Kinect first, which was quickly seconded by Robert Scoble, and again by Noah Kravitz, Josh Grech, Shawn Connally, Alice Yoo, and Paul Strauss of Technabob.
You agree? Disagree? Before you climb atop your sopabox to comment, check out the rest of Danny’s Top 30 list over on Huffington Post. It’s definitely an interesting read. Now about that custom shirt, Danny …