Cubic's Mike Huff with the GATOR inflatable satellite communications antenna. Photo by Chris Jennewein
Cubic’s Mike Huff with the GATOR inflatable satellite communications antenna. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Ten local companies received San Diego’s oldest and most prestigious recognition for commercial innovation at the 29th annual CONNECT Most Innovative Product Awards on Thursday night.

“At CONNECT, we believe San Diego entrepreneurs can change the world. Tonight’s winners demonstrate the incredible brain-power and drive that continue to elevate the region’s innovation economy,” said Greg McKee, CEO of the region’s oldest technology incubator.

“The Most Innovative New Product Awards is San Diego’s most exciting night in innovation because it gives us all a peek into the future of what the next big thing will be,” he added.

The 2016 winners were selected from 111 nominations across ten categories. Thirty finalists pitched their products live in front of an expert judging panel before these winners were selected:

Water Pigeon co-founder Clay Melugin demonstrates his water monitoring product.

Bluetech — Water Pigeon, a fast, simple, secure automated system for monitoring water use that fits existing meter boxes.

Cleantech, Sustainability, and Energy— Camston Wrather’s Recycled Commodities, a process for recovering precious metals and polymers from e-waste using green technology that produces no hazardous waste or byproducts.

Defense, Transportation, and Cybersecurity — Cubic Corporation’s GATR, an inflatable satellite communications antenna that weighs less than 100 pounds and fits into carry-on luggage.

Information Communication Technologies — Aira, a technology that connects blind people with a network of certified agents via wearable smart glasses so the agents can assist with a variety of daily tasks and activities.

Life Science Diagnostics and Research ToolsEcho Laboratoris’ Revolve, a new hybrid microscope that easily transforms between upright and inverted configurations, merging the capabilities of two instruments into one.

Medical Devices — Onciomed’s Gastric Vest System, a minimally invasive, implantable device used to enable weight-loss without stapling, cutting or permanently removing part of the stomach.

Pharmaceutical Drugs & Medical DevicesACADIA Pharmaceuticals’ NUPLAZID, the first and only medicine approved by the FDA for the treatment of hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis.

CleverPet CEO Leo Trottier with his company’s Hub for dogs.

Robotics and Unmanned VehiclesCleverPet’s Hub, an automated treat dispenser that engages dogs while their humans are away

Software, Digital Media, and Mobile Apps — Guru’s San Diego Museum of Art App that transforms a smartphone into a museum experience enhancement tool through video, audio, games, augmented reality and digital tours.

Sport & Active Lifestyle TechnologiesBixpy’s Bixpy Jetthe first portable, handheld water propulsion device. The product runs on lithium batteries and is able to attach to anything from a diver’s forearm to the back of a kayak.

To be eligible for the 2016 awards, the product must have been first introduced after Jan. 1, 2014, never nominated for the award before, and in most cases generated revenue from sales.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.