Submissions for the Innovation Excellence Awards 2024 are open. Read more about 2023’s winners below and download a submission form to enter 2024’s awards now. We can’t wait to see what innovations you have in store!
If your brand or business has an innovative product, service or initiative, we want to hear from you!
The Innovation Excellence Awards recognise game-changing innovations launched in Australia within the past 12 months. Simply download a submission form to enter.
Scroll down to read about previous years’ winning submissions.
You’re welcome to submit multiple innovations, using a separate submission form for each innovation.Download a 2024 Submission Form
SENEC.Cloud allows eligible households to store surplus solar energy exports, virtually, on top of their existing solar battery storage capacity. SENEC.Cloud is offered in conjunction with energy provider Diamond Energy and is available to households across New South Wales, Victoria, south-east Queensland and South Australia with an eligible SENEC battery storage system.
Unused energy is stored as a virtual ‘credit’ in a customer’s SENEC.Cloud which can then be imported and used by customers as needed. Households currently have access to up to 500 kilowatt hours (kWh) per quarter through the virtual SENEC.Cloud package. However, up to four additional packages can be purchased. SENEC.Cloud allows households to further their energy independence and get more flexibility and value from their solar system.
Exetel’s My Speed Boost is an added extra on a customer’s NBN plan, where they are able to boost their internet speed to the next highest tier for one day. Customers on NBN 50, 100/20, 100/40 and 250 plans will automatically receive five free speed boosts per month, otherwise it will cost $2 per Boost Day (lower speed tier customers will need to pay for any boosts). Any unused Boost Days can also be banked for future use, with up to 30 days of ‘Boost Bank’ storage available.
Accessing Exetel’s My Speed Boost is also simple, with the ability to switch it on via the app or My Exetel online portal. You can enable your boost then and there, or schedule it in advance for a certain day. This is a fairly unique customer-focused product, and the inclusion of free Boost Days for certain plan types will no doubt serve households with higher internet needs. The flexibility may also suit those with intermittently higher speed needs, such as times when the kids are on school holidays and parents may be working from home.
Boost Mobile’s Trade-in App is a free, convenient and easy-to-use service that offers a hassle-free way for customers to trade in old or unwanted smartphones. Boost’s app provides trade-in quotes by asking users to complete six gamified diagnostic tests to help judge the value of their old device; customers can then accept the quote, send their phone in free of charge, and receive cash back within 24 hours.
While other telcos also offer online trade-in services, Boost Mobile’s app includes built-in diagnostics with step-by-step instructions on deleting old data and completing the trade-in process. Customers can also have their phone’s value paid directly into their bank account, rather than the mobile plan credit offered by other providers. With many Australians holding on to old devices years past their use-by date, Boost Mobile’s Trade-in App offers a fast and easy way for customers to dispose of unwanted phones and earn some extra pocket money in the process.
Offering a hands-free means of cleaning glass surfaces ranging from windows to pool fences, ECOVACS’ WINBOT W1 PRO uses a planning system to find the most efficient cleaning path, edge detection to keep it on track and a dual-direction auto-spray system and microfibre cleaning cloth to ensure no water marks are left behind. Strong suction, a tether safety system and anti-slip driving system prevent the W1 PRO from falling from vertical surfaces, while integration with ECOVACS’ app allow it to be remote controlled. This combination of effectiveness, convenience and connectivity made the W1 PRO an innovative offering compared to robot window cleaners currently available in Australia, according to Canstar Blue’s Innovation Excellence judging panel. The award is ECOVACS’ third for Innovation Excellence in the Appliances category, and Karen Powell, the company’s regional director for Australia and New Zealand, said ECOVACS was committed to continuing leading advancements in home robotics into the future.
Cuisinart’s The Soft Serve ice cream maker is currently the only soft-serve maker designed for home use, allowing families to whip up as much as 1.5 litres of ice cream – that’s eight to 10 servings per batch – in less than 20 minutes with a three-step process. Unlike commercial soft-serve makers, the product doesn’t require pre-mixed soft-serve mixture, allowing consumers with no-sugar, no-dairy and gluten-free food requirements to make use of it. The Soft Serve has three topping dispensers, plus a fold-out cone holder to make it an all-in-one gadget for shop-style desserts. Canstar Blue’s Innovation Excellence judging panel recognised that The Soft Serve brought simple functionality and convenience in a currently unoccupied space and fun and novelty to the kitchen appliances sector, while expanding the potential product audience to consumers who otherwise may not be able to eat soft-serve ice cream.
Hisense’s PureFlat Taupe Steel 417L Refrigerator is the first fridge in the Australian market with a 7-star energy efficiency rating, while coming in at $1,699 RRP, making it also relatively accessible for consumers. The Hisense fridge is bottom-mounted, with a reversible door and a proprietary PureFlat exterior to help fit in with the layout and style of a greater range of kitchens. Its inverter motor aims to maintain a stable interior temperature, while Hisense’s Metal-Tech Cooling system ensures that temperature remains cool even when the fridge door is open. Vacuum-insulated panels also help keep the cool air in. Canstar Blue’s Innovation Excellence judging panel was wowed by the fridge’s high energy rating for what is a low price when compared to other fridges offering advanced features or functions. This innovation and its affordability was considered to be particularly key at a time when higher costs of living, including on energy, were being keenly felt by Australian households, so meeting a distinct consumer need.
Already known as a mainstay in the hot water system market, Rheem has created a heater built specifically for the challenges of the Australian environment in the form of the AMBIHEAT heat pump water heater. The AMBIHEAT model is also as much as 73% more energy efficient than an electric water heater. The AMBIHEAT heater has a 270-litre capacity that it heats by drawing warmth from the surrounding air. Unlike solar water heaters, it works as well in cold climates of up to -5 degree and harsh weather conditions as it does in temperate and tropical zones, while still catering to consumers that desire a product that has lower carbon emissions. Its timer function allows it to be integrated with a solar system if desired to optimise the energy created by solar. Its Coefficient of Performance, a measure of efficiency in heating and cooling, is 4.5, compared to an industry average of 4 or less, according to Rheem. Other energy efficient features include a ‘vacation mode’ that reduces energy use when the household is away from the home. Purchasers can opt for an anode that increases the AMBIHEAT heater’s lifespan in heavy water environments and it’s made with ASA plastic to better withstand outdoor use in Australia’s harsh weather conditions. Canstar Blue’s Innovation Excellence judging panel was impressed by the adaptations Rheem had made to meet the challenges of the local market, as well as the innovation it employed to cater to consumer concerns at a time of rising energy costs.
Dyson’s Airwrap multi-styler curls, straightens and shapes hair by employing the company’s signature use of the Coanada effect – an aerodynamic phenomenon where air follows an adjacent surface – to avoid the need for extreme heat to style. This reduces hair damage and so expands the variety of hair types the Airwrap can cater for, giving consumers with curly or thick hair a more effective grooming device. A range of attachments further extend the Airwrap’s styling capabilities, while the Dyson app provides masterclasses on its use to maximise the utility it provides purchasers. The Airwrap impressed Canstar Blue’s Innovation Excellence judging panel with its demonstration of Dyson’s commitment to meeting the needs of a wider range of consumers and helping them integrate its products into their lifestyle. The panel also recognised Dyson’s continuing leadership in the styling tool market.
The ghd Duet Style 2-in-1 hair styler is a hot-air styler designed to dry and style hair at the same time, while minimising hair damage, making the product a real time-saver that still produces salon-style results. Combining ghd’s trademarked Air-fusion technology with low-temperature plates to provide even drying and styling, the Duet Style also features Shine Shot mode for dry hair to increase hair shine and limit frizz, thus expanding the potential uses of the product. It uses ghd’s bespoke acoustic system, which aims to reduce operating noise for a more pleasant hair-drying and styling experience. Canstar Blue’s Innovation Excellence judging panel was impressed by the Duet Style’s combination of hot air and heated styling plates, which is unlike other devices on the market. The panel noted that the product met consumers’ strong need for convenience too.
Samsung’s 2023 television line-up offers consumers large televisions with great picture and sound quality at a reasonable price range, making big screen TVs accessible to a larger number of Australians. The brand’s S95C and S90C OLED models are the first TVs to be validated by Pantone, the world leader in standardising the identification of colours, and boast enhanced colour reproduction through more than eight million self-illuminating pixels. The Samsung QLED 8K TV, meanwhile, features more than 33 million pixels, delivering what’s described as a billion shades of colour for a highly realistic viewing experience. Canstar Blue’s Innovation Excellence judging panel was impressed with Samsung’s continued commitment to innovation in the television space and focus on providing consumers with high-quality products at more affordable price points. Jeremy Senior, Samsung Australia’s vice president for consumer electronics, also noted the company’s “plethora of free, built-in apps” that were designed to maximise the productivity and entertainment customers got from their TV purchase.
Already offering a wide range of products within its Bespoke range, which allows consumers to choose from a range of colours and finishes to customise their purchase, Samsung has extended Bespoke to smartphones. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip4 Bespoke Edition features advancements on the previous phone model, such as a larger battery, slimmer design and upgraded camera, but it’s the Bespoke styling that particularly stands out because it gives buyers the opportunity to showcase their personal taste by selecting the front, back and frame colours, either in the same shade or different shades. Canstar Blue’s Innovation Excellence judging panel noted that Samsung was already an innovation leader in the fold-phone space and recognised that it had taken a step further in innovating by extending Bespoke to phones, offering a level of customisation few other providers offer. As Garry McGregor, Samsung Electronics’ vice president of mobile experience in Australia, said, “foldables represent a disruption to the existing smartphone market and Samsung is excited to be leading the charge”.
Huawei’s Watch D takes health monitoring a step further than other smartwatches and fitness trackers as the first of its kind to include a blood pressure cuff, complete with mini-pump, in its band for more precise blood pressure readings. The lightweight watch allows users to measure their blood pressure levels in real-time, helping to manage issues such as hypertension, while continuing to provide more standard offerings such as heart rate and sleep monitoring and multiple workout modes. Watch D’s up-to-seven-day battery life also helps make it a convenient fitness companion. Canstar Blue’s Innovation Excellence judging panel recognised the additional steps Huawei had made in enabling Watch D’s more accurate blood pressure measurement, which it considered met a real consumer need given that approximately one in three Australians suffer from high blood pressure.
Home Entertainment Appliances
Outdoor Entertainment Appliances
Heating & Cooling Appliances
In addition to Appliances, Energy and Telecommunication innovations, Canstar Blue also investigated innovations within the automotive space, with the previous winners listed below.
Innovation comes in many forms, but what does Innovation Excellence mean to us, and how do we determine it? We’ve created a methodology to allow us to determine winners consistently and without bias.
Xero has partnered with sustainability fintech Cogo to allow businesses to understand, track and potentially reduce their carbon footprint via the Business Carbon Manager (BCM). Available through the Australian Xero App Store, the BCM pulls transactional data from Xero, such as money spent on electricity, fuel and daily expenses, providing a business with its carbon footprint based on these expenditures. Businesses can then benchmark their emissions profile against industry and regional averages, in addition to setting reduction targets, empowering them to make more sustainable decisions.
Canstar Blue offers a range of commercial and organic opportunities for winning brands that want to let the world know they’re the best in their field. Our Commercial Team is ready to help you maximise your win!
Got some questions about how the Innovation Excellence Award works, or want to get your brand involved? Check out the questions below, or head to our FAQ page.
The Canstar Blue Innovation Awards are based on submissions put forward by brands who believe that they’ve created or championed something that can be one giant leap forward for their industry, or for consumers in general. Our panel of research experts then judge these entries, using our unique methodology, to determine how innovative the entry is, as well as how much of an impact it will have on consumers.
Entering the Canstar Blue Innovation Excellence Awards is as easy as applying via the Entry Form on this page and detailing your innovation. Entries are open all year-round, with the Innovation Excellence Award results released once per year.