Tech and innovation had a good year. Solar energy powered a globe-circling flight via the Solar Impulse 2, Nike pioneered self-lacing shoes, Ario introduced an IoT lighting hack, Apple spiced up Union Square with a dramatic experiential showroom, and ping pong went social at SPiN. Here are our picks for best innovations of 2016.

The Solar Impulse 2: Circling the globe, floating above the Golden Gate, and showcasing the potential of clean aviation.

Ground Control to Rocket Men: Make Solar Planes Not Toxic Spaceships

The HyperAdapt 1.0: Nike’s “electro adaptive reactive lacing” kicks athletic shoe performance into a new gear.

Nike’s Self-Lacing Shoes: Innovation 5,000 Years in the Making

The Ario: A pattern-learning IoT light with natural color ranges tuned to your circadian rhythms.

The Magic Blue Light

Apple San Francisco: The flagship anti-store that’s quickly become an international case study in design thinking.

Design Thinking: Apple’s New San Francisco Store

SPiN: A ping pong social club cross-pollinates startup culture and entertainment.

SPiN: The Ping Pong Startup

Want to meet Google’s resident comedian, the Millennial Girl tapping Gen Z sensibilities, San Francisco’s Food Truck King, the music aficionado behind the hot new video competition app, and the man bringing California-style tech incubators to China? Check out’s Best Innovators of 2016.