2013 was the year of innovative mobile technology. Twenty years ago, we used our mobile devices primarily for calling and, really, not much else. Today, our mobile devices help run our entire lives and without them we would be lost. We book appointments through our devices, navigate directions to our favorite hotspots, calculate tips at restaurants, and take shameless “selfies” in public to send to our friends. Some of us are even get caught carrying on conversations with our mobile device, through our favorite travel companion, Siri. There’s no arguing that mobile is a huge part of our lives, and it’s only getting bigger.

With 2013 behind us, many are looking to the new year for a clean slate – to start fresh. But before we begin, let’s take a moment to reminisce on the year of innovation that was 2013. These 5 mobile breakthroughs of 2013 are bound to blow you away:

1. Coin

Gone are the days of crowding your wallet with stacks upon stacks of cards.¬†Coin is an ingenious new device that can hold and be used just like the cards you already carry. Coin looks like and operates like any other card you own, the only difference is you can manage every card you own with only one Coin. All debit, credit, membership, and gift cards can be added to your Coin and used whenever you want. Worried about security? No need. Coin alerts you via text message when it’s apart from your phone.

Coin is available for pre-order and starts shipping this summer.

2. Smart TXTBKS

In undeveloped countries, where children walk miles to school, tablets and e-readers have become the solution to carrying large, heavy textbooks. However, in some of those countries, even the cheapest tablets and e-readers cost more than what most families make in an entire month. The only devices that many of them even own are old model cell phones primarily used for text messaging.

Smart TXTBKS saw this problem and came up with an epic solution. Smart TXTBKS took millions of old cell phones to create a new brand of textbook. They partnered with well-known authors and publishers to transform textbooks into 160-character text messages. These messages were programmed into thousands of interactive sim cards and distributed to schools. Smart TXTBKS transformed even the oldest phones into a new kind of e-reader and old text sim cards into a new brand of textbook.

3. Short-Form Video

Short-form video has been all the hype this year. We’ve seen Vine, Snapchat, and now Instagram thrive. Many experts say that these types of short, condensed videos are the future of marketing. Why is this? Millions of people are using these social platforms. Sharing video with friends, family, and colleagues has never been so simple, and marketers have definitely taken notice. We’re seeing big brands like Target, Sephora, Dove, Oreo, and General Electric advertising via short-form video and seeing major success. These platforms have revolutionized the way brands directly connect with the people who matter most – their audience.

4. SMSLifesaver

SMSLifesaver is a program, based out of Stockholm, Sweden, that uses text messaging to get emergency responders to cardiac arrest victims more quickly and efficiently. Seems too good to be true, right? Here’s how it works: someone suffering from cardiac arrest dials 122 and a text message is sent to all CPR trained responders within 500 meters of the person in need. The responder reacts to the emergency message and arrives onsite to preform CPR on the person in need.

Text messaging is the most effective form of communication to use in emergency situations. It delivers the highest reach and response in the shortest amount of time. Having an emergency responder ready to act on a moments notice could make all the difference.

5. Neurocam

Don’t let its eccentric appearance fool you, Neurocam could very well be the next big thing in advertising. The Neurocam headset and it’s accompanying app scans your brain and records spikes in activity when you see something of interest to you. Users interests are measured on a scale of 1 to 100. The camera on the smartphone is triggered to record short video clips whenever interest spikes above 60. Video clips are timestamped and location is recorded for further review. Video clips can also be taken manually with a simple head nod.

Neurocam could help determine products in stores that interest people, as well as those that do not. In addition, position data and mapping could show what places people are interested in. Neurocam could aid in the decision making of marketers, advertisers, urban development planners, and more. With this type of advanced mobile technology, the possibilities are endless.

 

Yes, 2013 was the year of innovation and progress in the wide world of mobile. What will 2014 bring? What mobile innovation would you like to see next?