As we celebrate 60 years of Which?, we’ve been looking back at the products that have changed our lives.
From Ceefax to smart tech, each has had a profound impact on the way we live, work and communicate. As part of our celebrations, we want you to predict the future. Which product from 2017 stands out as the most interesting innovation – a product that we’ll look back on as the one that ‘started it all’?
Find out more about this year’s entrants here, or simply click on one of the products below to place your vote*.
Why we chose the products on our shortlist
Predicting the future is no easy task – but we think each of these products has the potential to play a role in changing our lives. Read on to find out why.
Google Pixel Buds
These innocent looking wireless headphones have a trick up their sleeve that could change the world. Google’s Pixel Buds can translate any of 40 different languages in real time, meaning you and the speaker hear a conversation in your native tongue. It could be the most impressive innovation we’ve seen in years.
Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone
Samsung’s S8 wowed with an ‘infinity display’ that wraps around the metal chassis with few bezels in sight. It also packs in just about every mobile technology we’ve seen yet – wireless charging, fast charging, water resistance, a micro-SD slot, face and iris recognition and much more.
Nintendo Switch games console
The Nintendo Switch follows the commercially disastrous Wii U. You can use it on the go, like a Gameboy, but when you’re at home, the screen slides into a dock and the controllers slide off the side, so you can play games on your TV. The hybrid console has enjoyed enormous success by offering console-quality games on the go – something none of Nintendo’s competitors have achieved before.
iPhone X Face ID
The iPhone X can rightfully claim a dramatic design of its own, but it’s Face ID we’re interested in. It uses infrared and visible light to scan the unique characteristics of a face, claims it can handle situations such as different light conditions and a face being ‘faked’, by someone wearing a mask or using a photograph. Apple is so confident it has ditched the fingerprint scanner. Could Face ID become the future standard for smartphone security? If so, it would be a landmark achievement.
Sony KD55A1BU TV
We’ve seen a veritable production line of new TVs arrive in all shapes and sizes this year, but few offer genuine innovation. Sony can claim otherwise with the KD55A1BU – a 55-inch OLED panel that takes a novel approach to addressing sound quality. ‘Acoustic surface’ technology vibrates the screen to create sound – effectively turning it into a giant speaker. We called it ‘one of the best sounding TVs we’ve heard in recent years’. Could this be the future of home audio?
Effie Ironing Machine
According to a YouGov poll from 2016, ironing is the most hated of household chores. The Effie is a domestic stress-buster that could spell the end for the cursed crease – not just for shirts, but trousers, skirts, bedding and more. But at £699, is it still too soon to ditch the old iron?
The 2017 Audi A8 was unveiled this year as the car with the most advanced self-driving technology in production. With its patented Traffic Jam Pilot, ‘drivers’ can enable the built-in artificial intelligence system to, in theory, take their hands off the wheels and pedals and let the car do the work. Could this be the start of the driverless car?
*Voting closes 11.59am on 31 October 2017