There’s a big difference between just another good gadget or technology and one that’s a game changer. It should redefine an existing product category or forge a new one. It should also compel other companies to step up their game (or shamelessly copy). These are just two key ingredients that went into selecting the winners for LAPTOP’s first annual Game Changer Awards, which celebrates the most disruptive mobile innovations of the year.
A big theme running through these awards is wearable tech, from the first smartwatch for the masses to two heads-up displays for two very different types of users. Meanwhile, a breakthrough imaging advancement and the first truly hands-free voice controls are shaking up the smartphone world. You’ll even find a tablet on our list that manages to mash tech support with football-style telestrations. These are the top 10 game changers of 2013.
SMARTPHONE: Motorola Moto X
The Moto X is the first smartphone that lets you perform voice commands without touching your device.
CAMERA: Nokia Lumia 1020
The Lumia 1020 packs a 41-megapixel sensor and lets you zoom in on photos after you take them.
TABLET: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
Amazon has reinvented tech support with the Mayday button on its new tablet.
GAMING: Oculus Rift
This jaw-dropping virtual reality gaming headset literally puts you inside the action.
WEARABLE TECH: Google Glass
A wearable breakthrough, Glass lets you snap pictures, get directions, speak to text and a whole lot more.
PC PERIPHERAL: Leap Motion
Leap Motion can read your hand gestures for doing everything from gaming to exploring the universe.
T-Mobile has shaken up the wireless world by nixing contracts and making phone upgrading easy.
Pebble is taking smartwatches mainstream with an e-paper display, useful apps and a low price.
Vine is a whole new way to communicate and tell stories via 6-second videos that are a cinch to share.
ENABLING TECHNOLOGY: Intel Bay Trail
Intel’s powerful but efficient new CPU gives 2-in-1 tablets and laptops more speed and battery life.