THE BEST OF INC. 2014 Instant Instagrams, Tricked-Out Workstations, and Other Gadgets That Wowed Us in 2014

If you thought 2014 felt like another year of information overload, with more mobile apps and consumer products than you could possibly keep track of, you’re not alone.?

From drones to tablets to the Internet of Things, the number of toys and gadgets that hit the market every year?seems to be steadily increasing. Fortunately, we’ve handpicked 10 truly innovative items that deserve special praise for the way they captured our attention last year.?

Here are the products that made a big splash with consumers and business owners in 2014.

Breathometer Breeze?

Entrepreneur Charles Michael Yim made history on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2013 by striking a $1 million deal with all five sharks for his smartphone breathalyzer company, Breathometer. In 2014, Breathometer introduced Breeze, a small, wireless device customers breathe into to measure their blood-alcohol content (BAC), which displays on the Breathometer app. In addition to analyzing BAC, the app also helps users find taxis or hotels to help prevent drunk driving. Price: $99.99.

Eyelock Myris

The Eyelock Myris is a personal security device that replaces usernames and passwords by using eye-scanning technology to verify your identity. Small enough to hold in the palm of your hand, the Myris uses a USB camera that scans irises to unlock computers,?email accounts,?and internet VPNs. By using video rather than still images, the chance of a false match is less than one in 1.5 million,?according to the company.?Price: $279.99.

iPhone 6

Sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have given Apple its most successful product launch ever, according to the company. New features include a larger screen (4.7 inches on the iPhone 6 and 5.5 inches on the 6 Plus),?faster wireless speeds, better camera autofocus, a higher?storage capacity at the top end (128GB), and of course, Apple Pay, the new payment system allowing customers to make purchases by holding their phone up to a terminal and?touching a fingerprint reader. Price: $199 with a two-year contract.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

The latest tablet-laptop hybrid from Microsoft has a 12-inch HD display–1.5 inches more than the previous Surface Pro–and an?integrated kickstand featuring multiple positions. Microsoft markets the 1.8-pound device as “the tablet that can replace your laptop.” In addition to its responsive touchscreen and digital pen, the Surface Pro 3 comes with two 1080p cameras and a battery lasting up to nine?hours.?Price: $799.99 ($129.99 keyboard sold separately).

Little Bits Smart Home Kit?

The Smart Home Kit from Little Bits is designed to turn?any household object into an internet-connected device. Using tiny modules that snap together, Little Bits can do things like automate curtains to open in the morning and let you control your air conditioner from your smartphone. The kit includes 14 modules and 11 accessories, with no wiring or programming required. Price: $249.

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