In just a few years time “the T3 Awards will be the Grammys and the Brits on steroids” – Will.i.am.
Deemed the ‘Oscars of the tech world’, the T3 Awards is the UK’s biggest and most respected tech and gadget award ceremony. Virtual Reality (VR) headset the HTC Vive was 2016’s big winner, and the only product to pick up multiple awards – Gaming Product of the Year in association with GamesRadar+, Innovation of the Year in association with Hive, and the evening’s most prestigious award, Gadget of the Year, in association with EE.
VR is the most exciting and talked-about topic in tech right now. With the seemingly endless array of possibilities that VR brings, the market looks set to revolutionise everything from gaming to how corporate companies present their business. Released in April this year, the HTC Vive has stood head and shoulders above all else in the VR world. Developed in partnership with the Valve Corporation, the headset is designed to utilise “room-scale” technology to turn a room into a 3D space via sensors, enabling the user to navigate naturally and experience immersive environments. The event organisers, Future PLC, even launched its own VR experience on the night. Called ‘Step into the Future’, it confirms Future’s position as an innovative media company at the forefront of the industry.
Samsung was the other big winner. It collected three gongs in total for Brand of the Year, Wearable Technology of the Year for the Gear S2, and the coveted Phone of the Year, in association with TechRadar, for the Galaxy S7 Edge.
Some of the most influential people in tech were honoured. will.i.am, founder of i.am+ and renowned international recording artist, joined proceedings to be honoured with Tech Personality of the Year in association with Digital Spy. Founder of Wikipedia, one of Time magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People’ and celebrated internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales was recipient of the Tech Legend award, and Eben Upton, the founder of Raspberry Pi, which provides low-cost, high-performance machines that help more people access computing, was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to Tech Award – and it was presented to him by pioneer of technology and science television for children, Johnny Ball.
Alongside Samsung and HTC, Sony was the only other multiple winner with its hugely acclaimed XD93 winning Television of the Year, and the A7R II picking up Camera of the Year in association with The Photography Show. Dyson, one of Britain’s all-time most innovative companies, picked up Connected Home Tech of the Year for the Pure Cool Link fan. Elon Musk’s pioneering electric-car company Tesla saw its Model X pick up Car of the Year. Sky’s non-contract Now TV won the Streaming Service of the Year. Laptop of the Year went to Microsoft’s Surface Book, the Aston Martin DB11 won Design of the Year in association with Kodak, and the Naim Mu-so Qb was 2016’s Audio Product of the Year.
Gadget of the Decade is a special one-time award for this year’s ceremony in recognition of the T3 Awards’ tenth anniversary, and the winner was Apple’s iPhone. Voted for by readers of T3 in a ‘World Cup’-style format, 16 products were drawn to go head-to-head, then whittled down to eight, then four, then two and finally the winner – with the other three semi-finalists being the iPad, the PlayStation 3 and Netflix.
Finally, recipients of the editorially chosen categories. Hall of Fame entry for 2016 was Android, and the Editors’ Choice Award was given to the Ring Video Doorbell.
The T3 Awards winners are chosen by a combination of reader votes and an expert panel of judges from across the media world*. Adam Buxton, comedian, author and actor, famed as one half of Adam and Joe, was host for the evening, his first time. The black-tie event took place on Wednesday 28 September at the Royal Horticultural Halls in Victoria, London.
T3 Editor Rob Carney says “It’s incredible to look back over the past ten years of tech, and see how it’s changed and influenced the world we live in. Apple’s iPhone is a more than worthy recipient of Gadget of the Decade – it paved the way for all modern smartphones!
“The past 12 months have, once again, not failed to amaze us. VR has truly impacted in a big way, the connected home is becoming ever more commonplace, and the incredible strides technology is making have enabled 100 per cent battery-powered cars. It only brings excitement to what the next 12 months hold for us all.”
We can’t wait to see what next year brings.
Camera of the Year in association with The Photography Show – Sony A7R II
Design of the Year in association with Kodak – Aston Martin DB11
Audio Product of the Year – Naim Mu-so Qb
Editors’ Choice Award – Ring
Tech Personality of the Year in association with Digital Spy – will.i.am
Gaming Product of the Year in association with GamesRadar+ – HTC Vive
Wearable Technology of the Year – Samsung Gear S2
Car of the Year – Tesla Model X
Streaming Service of the Year – Now TV
Laptop of the Year – Microsoft Surface Book
Tech Legend – Jimmy Wales
Gadget of the Decade in association with The Sun – Apple iPhone
TV of the Year – Sony XD93
Connected Home Tech of the Year – Dyson Pure Cool Link
Innovation of the Year in association with Hive – HTC Vive
Phone of the Year in association with TechRadar – Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Outstanding Contribution – Eben Upton
Brand of the Year – Samsung
Hall of Fame – Android
Gadget of the Year in association with EE – HTC Vive
* The Judges were Rob Carney (T3), Dan Grabham (T3), Duncan Bell (T3), Luke Johnson (Digital Spy), Hannah Bouckley (Press Association), Spencer Kelly (BBC), Daniel Jones (The Sun), Patrick Goss (TechRadar) and Gemma Morris (Sky).