Wired this morning picked the 10 most significant gadgets of 2010. I like that they called them “significant,” and I like the list through that lens. They’re not just the coolest or most popular gadgets, but the gadgets that represent some huge (and soon to be market-wide) technological advances.
The Canon Powershot S95 isn’t the strictly-speaking best camera released in 2010, but it might be the most important – it put a gigantic sensor into a tiny camera, giving compact-camera lovers a way to take D-SLR-quality photos (and at $400, it’s cheaper than any D-SLR you can find).
Similarly, the MacBook Air is important not because it’s the best-working laptop on the market, but because it represents the shifting laptop landscape – ultra-portable, no optical drive, forever-lasting battery, and just powerful enough to do what you need it to do. People don’t buy the most powerful laptop anymore, they buy the one that works for them. And for most people, the Air works perfectly.
None of the other nine items are nearly as significant as the Berkley Bionics eLEGS, though, which are going to allow people to walk who never thought they’d be able to again. (They’re already doing so, actually, and the effects are amazing – the above picture, from Wired, is about as happy a picture I think I’ve ever seen.)
It’s a good list, and reading it points to much of what we’re going to see dominate the market in 2011 and beyond.