Engadget will judge the Best of CES Awards for the seventh year in a row

Dana Wollman
Editor-in-Chief
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Engadget is thrilled to once again be judging the official Best of CES Awards. CES 2020 will be our seventh consecutive year curating the winner's list, and once again we'll be presiding over 16 categories (the People's Choice award not included). This year we've added a new category, Best Sustainability Product, and it's exactly what it sounds like: a way to honor the devices and technologies that have the greatest potential to prevent, mitigate or even reverse damage to the environment.

That means if Impossible Foods returns to this year's show with an even grander plan to turn the world's meat eaters into herbivores, this would be the award they'd be competing for. But it's not just food science that belongs in the sustainability category -- it's air filters, smog detectors, water filtration systems, reusable materials, smart energy metering and who knows what else?

As ever, we're accepting nominations until the night before Press Day kicks off at CES 2020. Our editors will also be researching exhibitors and scouring the show's various venues to find the most promising contenders in each category. On Wednesday the week of the show we'll announce our finalists: two to four per category. And then on Thursday we'll reveal the winners in an award ceremony at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Read on to learn more about our categories, eligibility requirements, submission process and judging criteria.

The categories

  • Best Accessibility Tech: Technology that helps those with disabilities achieve healthier and more independent lives.
  • Best Startup: The startup showing great sophistication and innovation while also demonstrating a clear path to real-world availability. Eureka Park will be a focus.
  • Best Digital Health and Fitness Product: A product exhibiting the most innovative use of technology to improve users' health and well-being. Example products include smart scales and activity monitors.
  • Best Wearable: The best gadget at the show that can be worn on your person. Examples include smart watches, augmented reality glasses and any piece of wearable item (be it socks or shorts) that have sensors in them.
  • Best Transportation Technology: Technology related to the ever-advancing science of getting from here to there. Example products include infotainment systems and advances in self-driving technology.
  • Best Home Theater Product: This award is all about home entertainment. Example products include set top boxes, streaming players, tuners, audio systems and more.
  • Best Connected Home Product: A product that belongs in the connected home. Example includes smart refrigerators, connected thermostats and smart lighting.
  • Best Phone or Mobile Device: The smartphone or related mobile device that most impresses with its combination of specifications, design and overall ability.
  • Best TV Product: The television that is deemed the best in terms of display, design and overall quality, or the product that might most revolutionize your use of that screen.
  • Best Gaming Product: The product that best moves forward the broad field of gaming. Example products include game-specific tablets and PCs, video game consoles, controllers and gaming services.
  • Most Unexpected Product: The product that turns heads on the International CES show floor without necessarily fitting into any defined product category. This product may not be the best of the best at the show, but it will be one of the most talked-about.
  • Best Sports Tech: The product that changes the game, quite literally. These products will be found on the court, the field, the track or at the gym.
  • Best PC or Tablet: The best laptop, desktop or tablet, judged based on its design and specifications.
  • Best Robot or Drone: A drone or robot that is deemed the best of this unique category.
  • Best Sustainability Product: The device, service or technology with the greatest potential to prevent, mitigate or reverse damage to the environment.
  • Best of the Best Award: The device, service or technology in any category that stands clearly above the rest, judged based on its innovation and design quality.
  • People's Choice Award: The product from this year's show that most captured the hearts and minds of our readers. The winner will be determined by viewers and readers.

Eligibility requirements

To be considered, a product must meet the following criteria:

  • The product must be on display at CES 2020. Nominees must be official exhibitors or participants of CES 2020.
  • The product must fall under at least one of our 16 awards categories (excluding People's Choice).
  • The product doesn't need to have been announced at CES, but it always helps. Obviously, it also shouldn't be more than a year old.

Submissions process

If you're looking to submit something for consideration, make sure you meet our eligibility requirements and then enter all your information in this submission form. Submissions will stay open until 11:59PM ET on the evening of Saturday, January 4th, before press day kicks off on Sunday, January 5th. Please include the following required items for a product to be considered:

  • Product name
  • Company name
  • Product description
  • Which of the 16 awards category/categories your nomination should be considered for. Companies may submit their products for more than one category.
  • Contact information for both media relations and internal point(s) of contact while at the show. We need to be able to reach someone on-site in the event you're a finalist or winner!

Whenever possible, companies should submit the following materials as well:

  • Photos (minimum 1,920 x 1,080 resolution and 300 DPI)
  • Spec sheet(s)
  • Press release(s)
  • Release date
  • Price

How we judge

As journalists, we're committed to a fair, unbiased process for choosing winners across all 17 categories. While the People's Choice winner will be selected by our readers, the remaining 16 awards will be decided by the Engadget staff, without any input or guidance from our parent company Verizon Media (a subsidiary of Verizon).

Engadget editors may also nominate products across all categories (excluding People's Choice), and these nominations will be evaluated according to the same standards as all other submissions. We will be judging products according to the following criteria:

  • Innovation
  • Design
  • Market appeal
  • Functionality

Once all submissions have been reviewed, the Engadget editorial staff will meet to go through all submitted products, narrowing down the list to two to four products per category. (We expect this will be a long night!) On Wednesday, January 8th, 2020, we'll announce our Best of CES Award finalists in a post on Engadget. On that day, too, public voting will begin for the People's Choice award. In that poll, our readers will be choosing amongst the editorial team's list of finalists.

Once we've announced the slate of finalists, a team of senior editors will once again meet to evaluate the entire slate and narrow the selection down to one standout pick per category. All of the winners will be announced on Thursday, January 9th, 2020 on the Engadget stage live from CES, beginning around 5:00pm PT.