Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp

The end of the year is approaching fast, with 2012 set to turn into 2013 in a matter of weeks, assuming of course that the Mayans were wrong. It’s been a great 12 months in the world of technology, with lots of new innovations pushed out into the world. But what has been your one highlight?

Whether it be websites or Web services, smartphone apps or computers programs, gadgets or hardware, technology is always pushing forward into the future. So much so that it’s often a useful exercise to stop and take stock once in a while, to catch up with any innovations you may have missed, and any trends that may have passed you by. Which leads us neatly on to this week’s We Ask You question.

This Week’s Question…

What Is Your Favorite Tech Innovation Of 2012?

We can break this question down into three separate categories. You’re welcome to put forward a suggestion in any one of the following categories or, alternatively, all three. It doesn’t matter whether your chosen innovation has been covered here on MakeUseOf through the year or not, what matters is that you pinpoint something released or revealed during 2012 that has had an impact on you in some way.

New Website/Service: The Web is a constantly changing collection of sites, pages and services. It rarely stands still, though there are some properties that are seemingly ubiquitous. Is there one new website or Web service released in 2012 that stands out for you?

New App/Program: Smartphones have become so popular and so powerful now that the apps that appear on them can safely be lumped in with computer programs. Is there one of either an app or program released in 2012 that has stood out for you above all others?


New Gadget/Hardware: We all love new gadgets and hardware, don’t we? The problem is so many new ones are released each year that few of us can afford to buy all that appeal to us. Is there one new piece of hardware or gadget that rose above the others for you?

I don’t want to give examples in any category for fear of compromising this snapshot of opinion. So don your thinking cap and let us know what your favorite tech innovation of 2012 is.

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told Us. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, and the respect of other readers. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Jenni Douglas

  1. Cutler Cox
    December 19, 2012 at 3:23 am

    Nvidia's kepler based GPU's.

  2. Anonymous
    December 18, 2012 at 10:33 am

    MY favorite one was surely the lumia 920....I just think that it is the coolest phone ever.....Though i also like the samsung note 2......I also like Netduino which is quite a cool thing....

  3. Rajaa Chowdhury
    December 18, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Convergence ha been the name of the game in technolgy for years now. Also different form factors converge to get a single device created. Case in point of yesteryears' are the AIO desktops and printers. Now with tablets an established and popular form factor, users still rue the on single thing the most, a physical keyboard which does feel like one. With Windows 8 launched, lot of established hardware OEM have now emerged with a converged form factor of a tablet with a laptop. All leading OEMs have jumped into the fray. Example, Dell Latitude XT3 tablet PC and also plethora of other similar offerings from Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. Though the visibility and the shout is not too much, but surely, slowly and steadily, the few form factor is getting established delivering the convenience of both the tablets and a laptop.

  4. Raman Bathina
    December 17, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I hope raspberry pi is the tech innovation of 2012.

  5. Ana Georgievska
    December 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    iPad 3!

  6. Simion Daniel Cocan
    December 17, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Samsung Galaxy S3

  7. Sinisa Dumani
    December 17, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Raspberry Pi

  8. Yuk Ho Chung
    December 17, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Nexus 7, Windows 8, Jelly Bean, Raspberry Pi and the Samsung Galaxy Camera

  9. Ran Kinory
    December 17, 2012 at 7:02 am

    The 'WAZE' app.

  10. Suresh Volam
    December 17, 2012 at 5:17 am

    In my opinion it is Windows 8.

  11. Moazzam Naeem
    December 17, 2012 at 2:02 am

    No doubt it is galaxy note 2

  12. Ahamed Yaseen
    December 17, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Nokia pureview....

  13. Arun Singh
    December 17, 2012 at 1:23 am

    most popular software can be Windows 8

  14. Arun Singh
    December 17, 2012 at 1:23 am

    most popular gadget is Samsung Note 2 and windows surface

  15. Arun Singh
    December 17, 2012 at 1:22 am

    most popular app of the year is Google apps for iOS

  16. Arun Singh
    December 17, 2012 at 1:05 am is the best web service of the year.

  17. Delaney Ball
    December 17, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Galaxsy S III.

  18. Félix S. De Jesús
    December 16, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    I would say the Nexus Tablet 7" because that tablet create an innovation over other tablets, including: Speed, compatibility, and Brilliant Image. And is cheaper.

  19. Barry Mutia
    December 16, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    wooooo..Samsung Galaxy s3

  20. TorchingIgloosdotcom
    December 16, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    My fav is the Ouya. While it's not out yet, I'm highly anticipating such a device that allows me to play some cool Android games on a console-like experience for cheap. My tablet may be awesome, but Dead Trigger on that thing just doesn't cut it. That thing would also be fantastic for playing old-school game emulators on the TV again.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      If the Ouya actually comes to fruition then it could be huge. But it's a big If at the moment, as is the case with so many Kickstarter projects.

  21. Joseph Lerro
    December 16, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I have to go with the wheel. Oh, you mean of 2012?

  22. Jorge Andrade
    December 16, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    nexus 7 made it possible to have a cheap and realiable tablet for the first time.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 17, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      I certainly think the Nexus 7 changed the tablet market, bringing a quality device to the market at a price to suit the mainstream.

  23. MP H
    December 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I think Win 8 - starting off slow....

  24. Jason Papapanagiotakis
    December 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    I agree with windows 8 as it is a good attempt to change the PC now that it's getting old.
    I would also point out some nice technology research results from IBM that will probably be the future of CPUs.

  25. Jack Giebel
    December 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Jellybean. I just put the CM10 rom on my Bionic and it is sweet! Google now is like siri on steroids!

  26. Prashanth Rathore
    December 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    windows 8

  27. Alex Perkins
    December 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I would say the Leap Motion, it's pretty epic.

  28. Fran Rom
    December 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Samsung galaxy camera too!

  29. Albert Harris
    December 16, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Hands down for me easily is the Galaxy S3. There isn't anything I have wanted to do that I can't do with it. And that's without rooting. Sometimes it may require a little clever thinking or a Google search for someone more techy than I am but eventually it will tackle it.
    I haven't been fortunate enough to get my hands on a Raspberry Pi yet but I would love to tinker with one. All that versatility in such a small and inexpensive piece of hardware sounds cool.
    3D printers have been around for a while I'm sure but the fact that they have become more mainstream deserves a mention.
    XBMC, now with an official Android build and live TV/PVR support, was great news for me. I benefited from both.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      Good choices. Was it always going to be the S3 or was the iPhone/Windows Phone in the running?

      • Albert Harris
        December 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm

        I was an original Palm Pre owner and swore to go down with the ship. I loved the OS and physical keyboard. Friends of mine jumped ship and got the S2 last year. I began following the S3 when it was just a rumor and continued after it was first introduced. I knew once it was announced Sprint was going to carry it that I was going to have to have it. Even though I had read about all the other options out there and ones that were coming, my mind was made up.

  30. Ryszard Grodzicki
    December 16, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Windows RT deserves consideration as a first full Windows for ARM.
    I am also pretty amazed by online educational sites, especially khanacademy(which isn't so new) and Coursera. Their increasing resources are really astounding and I'm amazed by how they evolved lately.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      Windows RT has come in for considerable criticism, so it's a brave choice to make!

  31. Albert Harris
    December 16, 2012 at 11:31 am
  32. Angelo
    December 16, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Program / App: Google Now. No doubt for me. Sometimes I keep wondering why this wasn't invented before.

    Gadget/Hardware: Here, three answers: raspberry pi, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Camera.

    I don't think 2012 was a big year for websites. I can't remember anything that changed my life in this area.

  33. kevin gnanaraj
    December 16, 2012 at 10:07 am

    W won't really know how innovative something is until people start taking advantage of it. For example, the Nintendo DS's touchscreen. While playing FPS's on it, it seems a really great idea, and it also provides a map of the area. Other games that make good use of the touchscreen are games like cooking mama.
    That's why I think the new Wii U game-pad is a really great idea, and people don't really seem to have taken notice of it, but it has great potential, because it has physical button input, motion sensing and touchscreen controls. If all these inputs were taken into one game and executed properly, it would be a truly mind-blowing one.
    Another great innovation would probably be the lytro lightfield camera.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      I think 2013 is going to be a big year for the Wii U. The GamePad will either come into its own, and get utilized fully by developers, or the whole thing is going to fail. Holiday sales will be the first indication, I guess.

      • kevin gnanaraj
        December 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm

        The Wii U's sales aren't looking great so far-I guess only time will tell. I do like the idea though it seems that it may be quite cumbersome to use the motion controls on the gamepad. Nintendo hasn't really put out this feature of the gamepad much, atleast not yet from what I've seem. The main point is the touchscreen, which has it's own charms, but is not the only thing it has going for it. The execution of the all the components together is the amazing feat.
        They haven't managed to convince too many publishers or developers to make software for it, but I guess time will bring more, just like Windows Phone and Windows RT. Windows Phone 8 is another great product, but I don't see much innovation in it.
        I think the best innovation of the year would be the Lytro lightfield camera or Lucid Logix's Virtu MVP software, that is really impressive.

  34. Tanim Istiaque
    December 16, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Nokia pureview tech, no doubt

  35. Vishal Srivastava
    December 16, 2012 at 7:57 am

    2012 has been a great year for me personally. When I entered the year on the solstice of January the 1st, 2012, even I wouldn't have expected things to be as they are right now. Comparing that day to today, I can say that my knowledge of technology has increased at least 10 folds if not more. The biggest contributor to this has been the world wide web, The things I'm going to be talking about are not necessarily launched in 2012 but it is relevant for me as I discovered them in 2012.

    1) Website/Service- My 2012 year can't start or end without the mention of this website- . This has been the life changer for me. As I said above, this site wasn't made in 2012 but I discovered its full potential (and my potential as well) in 2012. Run by Frits Lynborg and a small group of dedicated administration (who hate adds and love having fun), this site is perhaps one of the biggest group of Roboticists (or Robotics Hobbyists) in the world. But its not limited to just Robotics. Most of the people who hang out there are programmers, engineers or just geeks who are interested in other things as well. I first discovered this site when I googled "How to make a robot" back in 2010. I had to make a robot for a school competition and was directed by Google to the start here page. But as the competition ended, so did my interest in that site. It was in December 2011 to January 2012 when after a renewed interest in Robotics and a hatred of the course I was studying, I revisited this site and it has been a life changer. I first joined the site in March. I didn't have any knowledge of electronics and very limited knowledge of programming. These guys have expanded my knowledge in a lot of areas- C programming, assembly language, Linux, non consumer electronics, android platform, HTML and web development, Scripting, and obviously Robotics just to name a few. There are a lot of forums there which contain a lot of helpful information. There are new updates on robots being created everyday and a lot of tip and walk through. But the best thing about it is the shout box (available only to registered members) where you can talk with like minded people who share your interests and have knowledge to help you. I have helped others a few times and gotten help a lot of time from them. I may not visit Facebook for quite some time (weeks maybe) but not a single day passes when I've not visited the shout box.

    2) App/Program- This one goes to Virtual Box. Again, its not something what started in 2012 but I discovered it in 2012. During May 2012, I got interested in Linux operating system and had my first brush with Virtual Box. However, I didn't understand the proper way to run it and ended up deleting it from my PC. In August, my PC's hardware crashed (motherboard stopped functioning) and I was left annoyed with the fact that I didn't have a copy of Original Windows with me. I bought a new laptop but switching from Vista to Windows 7 was not what I liked (although I like 7 now because I hate Windows 8) and my interest was brought back to Linux Operating System. I installed Virtual Box from their website ( and got Kubuntu OS to run in it. Later on, I also discovered that Linux shell programming was in my course (although very basic). However, it motivated me to learn a lot more than the basic and I had the tool with me. Now I have some understanding of the language and the reason which stops me from Dual Booting a Linux OS along with Windows 7 is the fact that I already have it running on my system as Virtual Machine.

    3) Gadget/Hardware- There is not one but 2 things I'll like to mention here. One is my Samsung Galaxy Young (Y) running Android 2.3.6 and the other is Arduino Uno with the ATMega 328P chip from the AVR family of Atmel microcontrollers. Both are awesome. I don't own an Arduino or ATMega but it is pretty revolutionary for me. The chip was the first time I had stepped away from Consumer Electronics and questioned myself, how is quantum physics related to Computer Languages. It revolutionized my way of thinking changing it from doing the right thing to asking why it was the right thing in the first place, changing it from what code does what to what that code does in terms of flow of electricity. It made me think, how was that LED in my Remote control working? It made me think, if I can use the feature of GPS, what does the GPS do to give me a reading of my location? It was a journey which I still am continuing and will continue probably for the rest of my life.
    Samsung Galaxy Y was also a revolutionary gadget for me. I have to admit, I have entered the Smartphone arena very late starting out just the end of last year (30th December 2012) when I bought my SGY. The android platform instantly pleased me in comparison to all the phones I had used till then running their own custom OS. It was new for me and something I could explore. The applications were nice. My biggest decision was whether I should root it or wait for the warranty to expire but I went with the prior and I don't regret it.
    2012 was a revolutionary year for me. It changed me. I hope my next year is like 2012 as well.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      Great comment, Vishal. Thanks for taking part.

  36. Dominic Chang
    December 16, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Windows 8. Innovative idea with the merger of 3 platforms into 1. Let's see how far can microsoft bring this idea to

  37. Mayur Godhani
    December 16, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Definitely ! Android Jelly Bean

    • Dave Parrack
      December 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      Did it bring enough innovation to the table? More than updates of other operating systems, mobile or otherwise?

  38. Âdil Farôôq
    December 16, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Samsung Galaxy Camera having Android.

  39. Jerric Tayam
    December 16, 2012 at 6:10 am

    cool latest gadget!

  40. Scott Moody
    December 16, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Raspberry Pi

    • Anonymous
      December 16, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      I agree.

    • Mac Witty
      December 17, 2012 at 8:51 am

      I'm also in for this

    • Gerald Huber
      December 17, 2012 at 7:16 pm


  41. Fawad Mirzad
    December 16, 2012 at 4:48 am

    No doubt, smartphone era filled the rumors of tech world. but there wasn't any special improvement other that bigger screen sizes and higher resolutions, . what i think was the greatest innovation, Microsoft's redesign of personal computers with release of its windows 8. which also caused absolutely new designs in computer hardware.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Windows 8 is a controversial choice, but judging by the comments received so far a fairly common one!

  42. Junil Maharjan
    December 16, 2012 at 4:29 am

    Samsung Galaxy S3 and Android Jelly Bean

  43. Rohit Jhawer
    December 16, 2012 at 3:58 am

    I would say samsung galaxy camera.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      Have you bought one yet? The reviews have been mainly positive, and I must admit I'm interested.

      • Rohit Jhawer
        December 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm

        I have used one for few days and i would have to say that its AWESOME! Apart from calling it can just do everything. and the cam quality is great. What more can you ask for in a camera with android OS in it.

      • Rajaa Chowdhury
        December 18, 2012 at 6:59 am


        Just a couple of days back I assisted my younger cousin to buy a camera. His budget was around $225, and though Samsung Galaxy 3G is priced higher, we still evaluated it. It is priced around $545, which is not so cheap. I was shocked by the color saturation, granularity and pixel-ed photos compared to the much cheaper camera that we brought (SONY H100). Though the concept and idea is novel in always connected to social media sites and the internet for immediate uploads, however Samsung needs to understands that the device is a camera first and not a tablet or smartphone. So the basic feature needs to be concentrated on first.

  44. Chew Jian Yue
    December 16, 2012 at 3:28 am

    I hope web 3.0 will appear sooner!

    • Dave Parrack
      December 17, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      I'd say it's already here, though not fully formed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *