Popular Mechanics honors breakthrough innovations

The magazine's editors name the most innovative products, from the Lytro camera to Microsoft's Surface tablet, and give props, too, to bright minds like SpaceX's Elon Musk.

With its eighth-annual Breakthrough Awards, Popular Mechanics magazine has honored ten innovative products, as well as a series of innovators, topped by SpaceX and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk.

What do Elon Musk, Leap Motion, Microsoft Surface and Windows 8, Autodesk 123D, and Dow Solar's PowerHouse Solar Shingles have in common?

They are all among the winners of Popular Mechanics magazine's eighth Breakthrough Awards. Awarded each year by a panel of the magazine's editors, the honors go to people and products that are seen to be leading the world of science and commerce forward.

This year's product winners are: The North Face Powder Guide ABS Vest and Backpack; the Lytro camera; Autodesk 123D; Microsoft Surface and Windows 8; Ford's 1-liter EcoBoost engine; Dow PowerHouse Solar Shingles; Cubify's Cube 3d printer; Lehr's propane-powered outboard engine; Leap Motion's Leap motion control system; and General Motor's crash avoidance system.

As well, the magazine honored a group of innovators, including Musk, the founder of both SpaceX and Tesla Motors; the team behind Goodyear Tire & Rubber's self-regulating tire; a pair of scientists working on technology that can make robots walk; a team that has come up with the most-efficient oil spill skimming technology ever; and several others.

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