A group of South Africa’s top technology experts has voted the Raspberry Pi, Ion Proton Sequencer, 3D printing, Ubuntu for Android, and Windows 8 as the top innovations of the year.
In 2012 there was a strong focus on smartphones and tablet PCs, which means that many tech innovations did not receive the exposure deserved.
To find out which technology innovations should be named as the best of 2012, we asked a group of South Africa’s top tech gurus for their opinions. This group included:
- Toby Shapshak – Stuff editor and Tech on Tap presenter
- Aki Anastasiou – Radio 702 Technobyte and Tech on Tap presenter
- Arthur Goldstuck – World Wide Worx MD and Gadget.co.za editor
- Jannie van Zyl – Vodacom executive and tech guru
- Jan Vermeulen – MyBroadband journalist
- Gerrit Vermeulen – Software developer and MyBroadband reviewer
The selections from this group ranged from software to a cheap educational computer.
Ion Proton Sequencer (Jan Vermeulen)
In January 2012, Life Technologies Corporation announced it is taking orders for the new benchtop Ion Proton Sequencer that is designed to sequence the entire human genome in a day for $1,000. The Ion Proton System removes the high cost and complexity of genome-scale sequencing.
3D printers (Aki Anastasiou)
Additive manufacturing or 3D printing makes it possible to create three dimensional solid objects from a digital model. 3D printing has been around since the eighties, but it is only recently that it became more affordable and advanced enough to be used commercially.
Windows 8 (Arthur Goldstuck)
Windows 8 is Microsoft’s latest release of its Windows operating system, and was officially launched on 26 October 2012. Windows 8 introduced many changes to Windows 7, and focused heavily on making the system touch screen friendly.
Ubuntu for Android (Gerrit Vermeulen)
Ubuntu for Android, a free and open source variant of Ubuntu designed to run on Android phones, was first demonstrated at Mobile World Congress 2012. Ubuntu for Android provides a full desktop experience – including office software, web browsing, e-mail and media applications – on Android phones docked to a screen and keyboard. Thanks to tight integration with the Android service layer, the transition between the two environments is seamless, making it easy to access the phone’s services from the desktop when docked.
Raspberry Pi (Toby Shapshak)
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming.