It seems like it was just a minute ago that Ryan Seacrest made his ten-second countdown to usher in the New Year, and since then, 2013 has been off to a fast start.
And with each New Year comes a certain level of anticipation for consumers, when it comes to new products being released, and seeing what companies will do to win our dollars and get us to pay attention.
A lot of people are also interested in seeing what new laws and government policies will be announced or what medical breakthroughs will be introduced in 2013.
To get an idea of what consumers will be seeing this year, we put together a small list to moisten your palette.
Take the new smartphones that Samsung is creating -- with a screen that’s able to bend and twist into various shapes, so one can either use it like a traditional phone and put it to their ear, or they can bend it and wrap it around their wrist like a watch or bracelet.
These bendable smartphones were announced in this year’s Consumers Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The screens are made of a thin plastic material that’s malleable enough to be turned and twisted into a number of positions.
So imagine getting a phone call, and unrolling your smartphone like a map to answer it.
What’s great about the new phones is that they'll take up less space in your bag or pocket and they should be lighter and easier to handle than regular smartphones, which will come in handy when you’re trying to multitask.
What’s also cool about these new phones is that the actual size won’t matter that much, because whether you get a tiny or colossal-sized model, you’ll be able to fold and twist it into a size that suits your needs.
Almost every year, scientists and researchers announce a new finding or medical breakthrough that has a huge impact on all of us, and so far there’s been a lot of talk about a skin cancer-detecting device called the MoleMate Skin Imaging System, which allows dermatologists to test for melanoma by just running the device along the skin, instead of doing an invasive procedure like a biopsy.
The inventor of the handheld device, Symon Cotton, says physicians will be able to read the machine's light waves to detect melanoma without having to remove a portion of the skin.
The MoleMate “operates by using wave lengths of light that interact with different cells in different ways,” said Cotton in an informational video about the device. “Because we know how they interact with these cells we can identify what’s in the skin without having to do a biopsy, i.e. cut a piece of the skin out.”
The company also says the MoleMate is extremely easy to use, as one pretty much just has to hold the oblong device to a patient’s skin.
What’s also terrific about the device is that physicians will be able to learn how to use it in just a couple of hours. It’s also said the device will be able to detect melanoma at earlier stages and provide more accurate readings.
Although there hasn’t been an exact release date of the Molemate, it has already been approved by the FDA and is rumored to hit U.S. doctor offices by this year. Hopefully by 2014 it will be a device commonly used by dermatologists.
Let’s face it, it wouldn't be a New Year for many consumers unless a nice-looking new vehicle is released, and although there are a bevy of highly price cars being introduced this year by higher-end brands like Mercedes Benz and BMW, the 2013 Ford Fusion Mondeo seems to be on the lips and minds of those consumers who want a practical and affordable vehicle with a little pizazz.
This year’s Mondeo is built with a lot of new features that previous models didn’t have, and it will join a lot of cars being released this year that will have far better gas mileage.
The “all new Mondeo is the first model built on Ford’s new global CD-segment platform to deliver more driver-focused, dynamic performance,” Ford said in a press release. “All-wheel drive diesel powertrain and retractable panoramic roof offered for the first time; as well as segment-first adaptive full LED headlamps.”
Ford also said the Mondeo will be the first car to have a 1.0 liter powertrain, which will allow consumers to dramatically lower the amount they spend on fuel. Expect to see this vehicle on the roads a lot in 2013.
That masked man
Besides electronics, medical breakthroughs and new cars, many people are eager to see what will be new in the world of entertainment this year, and there’s arguably no area of entertainment bigger than the movies when it comes to getting the chatter among consumers really going.
The movie on the minds of many people this year is the big screen version of The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp as Tonto, and the rising star Armie Hammer as the masked Kimosabe himself.
Being released on July 3, just in time for Independence Day, the story will show the origin of the Lone Ranger, and how he and his partner Tonto came to be the horse-riding vigilantes that many of us know today.
Based on the trailer for the movie, it appears The Lone Ranger will focus more on the Tonto character compared to the old black and white TV show, as Tonto finds the young cowboy passed out after experiencing some sort of cataclysmic event, and explains to him how and why he must now be a crime fighter and become the Lone Ranger.
But despite looking forward to cool movies and new products; none of us ever knows what the New Year will bring, and within the next 12 months most of us are bound to experience our fair share of peaks, valleys and winding roads that will sometimes be challenging for us to navigate.
But there’s one thing that most of us are certain of -- there will be more products for us to consume, more gadgets and forms of entertainment that will intrigue us, and hopefully a lot more medical breakthroughs that will allow us to experience many more New Years to come.