Engadget presents the Best of CES 2016: Here's what you need to know

It's November. For some, that means planning for Thanksgiving, while others might already be in the midst of holiday shopping. For us here at Engadget, November is when CES organizing kicks into high gear. Not only because CES is the country's largest get-together of tech, but also because for the third year in the row, Engadget has been bestowed the honor of running and hosting the official Best of CES awards. Just as in years past, our team of intrepid editors will search out the cream of the crop, nominate our finalists and pick the winners of the show. Oh and you too will have your voice heard in the People's Choice award. Want to know more? Well, head on over to our newly launched awards hub or read on further for a list of our award categories. And if you happen to be a company who wants to submit your product for such high honors, we've got instructions for that too.

These are the Best of CES award categories for 2016:

  • Best Startup: The startup showing great sophistication and innovation while also demonstrating a clear path to real-world availability.

  • 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 Automotive 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 Innovation (Disruptive Tech): The product or service that challenges the status quo with its innovative twist on technology.

  • Best Mobile Device: The smartphone or tablet 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, videogame consoles, controllers and gaming services.

  • Best Offbeat Product: The product that turns heads on the International CES showfloor 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 Maker-Friendly Technology: This product is geared toward the DIY/maker community. Examples include 3D printers and Arduino-like processing units.

  • Best PC: The best laptop or desktop, 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 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.

Now, if you're looking to submit something for consideration, check that you meet our eligibility requirements and then enter in all your information in our submission form here. In order to be eligible, your company must have an official presence at CES and the product must fit within one of the award categories above. It does not have to be announced at the show, but it always helps. And of course it can't be older than a year -- use your judgment! Submissions will stay open until 11:59pm PT on the evening of Monday, January 4th, before Press Day kicks off on January 5th. Please include the following required items for a product to be considered:

  • Product name

  • Company name

  • Product description

  • Which of the 15 Awards category/categories your nomination should be considered for -- companies can 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

  • Spec sheet(s)

  • Press release(s)

  • Release date

  • Price

Good luck!