2012 has come to an end and to celebrate the greatest innovations announced in the technology industry during the past year and upcoming in 2013, we have whittled down our favourite and most unique devices, computers and gadgets.
Gear 4 Renew Sleepclock
Gear4's new alarm clock monitors your sleep patterns throughout the night and knowing whether you're in a light or deep snooze, can calculate when the best time is to wake you up so you feel more alert in the morning.
Doubling up as a charge dock for the Iphone, Ipad or Ipod, the Renew SleepClock's dashboard is managed through an app built especially for Apple's IOS. It tracks your sleep history and allows you to calculate and compare how good or bad your slumbers have been over a period of time.
This nifty gadget works completely wirelessly via a sensor to track sleep patterns and knows when you're trying to drift off by sensing your breathing rate. It also knows when you begin falling asleep and fades down your sleep soundtrack when you've finally entered the land of nod.
Gear4 is yet to announce any definite dates for general sale of the Renew SleepClock, but being one of the most unique and scientifically inspiring gadgets we've seen in a while, it definitely deserves a spot on our innovations run-down. Gear 4 states we should see a release in early 2013, with a price of around £180.
Nest Learning Thermostat
The Nest Thermostat sounds brilliantly boring from the name alone, but in actual fact, it is one of the most the revolutionary devices for the home we've seen this year.
Promising to turn home energy management into a "must-have symbol of sustainable living", the Nest was designed and developed by the original creator of the Apple Ipod, Tony Fadell.
After investigating the market and finding that a programmed thermostat can save 30 to 40 percent in heating and cooling costs, Fadell developed and launch the Nest in the US this year in a bid to help people save on energy bills.
The Nest does just that by allowing users to control the temperature of their homes from a laptop, smartphone or tablet app once the Nest is connected to Wi-Fi. It also allows you to adjust your schedule, change the temperature and check your energy history from anywhere.
The thermostat retails for around $200 in the states and though it's not available in the UK just yet, it's definitely one of the most innovative home gadgets we've seen all year.
Nintendo Wii U
Nintendo revolutionised the gaming market back in 2006 when it launched the original movement-inspired Wii console for just £150. It did the same again this year when it released the console's younger and more powerful brother, the Wii U, in December.
Setting gamers back just £199, the Wii U is distinctive due to its tablet-style controller design called the Wii Remote Plus, which is a major move away from the traditional console controller. The controller features a 6.2-inch wide screen touch panel, analogue stick, magnetic sensor, acceleration sensor, gyrosensor, camera, speaker, microphone, wireless module and infrared connection module, making it more original than any other gaming console's control we've seen before.
Previously, video games played on home consoles have been confined to the TV and offered identical viewpoints to each player in a multiplayer environment. The Wii U controller enhances that experience by offering different viewpoints available in-game and in differing situations. Also, previously watching TV and playing console games have been completely separate experiences. The new controller removes these boundaries, creating a more dynamic and fluid gaming and entertainment experience.
With the Wii U, Nintendo has really upped the ante by bringing more motion control into a family's living room, without directly competing with the full body capture of Microsoft's Kinect.