The type="date" (and datetime, datetime-local, month, week, and time) form fields implement a date picker and/or time spinbox that allows for dates (and times) to be entered by clicking rather than typing. This resolves the issue of people from different parts of the world expecting dates to be in one of three different orders where the order that the form owner expects is not necessarily the same as the order that the visitor uses.
The type="color" form field introduces a colour picker that provides lots of different ways to select a colour while ensuring that the value passed by the form is a standard six character hexadecimal representation.
The one new HTML 5 form field attribute that seems to serve no purpose is required. That attribute would be useful if it were not that HTML 5 has also added the pattern attribute. As it is easy to specify in the regular expression whether the field is required or not a separate attribute that can potentially specify contradictory conditions seems superfluous.
This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.