With smartphone manufacturers coming under fire in 2016 for their design changes (headphone jacks anyone?), ZTE USA has gone to its community to progress its design direction.
Its Project CSX device is set to launch in 2017 featuring eye-tracking technology, plus a self-adhesive backing to hold the phone in place on a surface.
The eye tracking system is said to consist of two laser-focusing cameras, one on the top and one on the bottom that capture the user’s pupils’ movement in a vertical dimension. With this feature, the user can scroll up and down without even tilting their head up and down.
“We are overwhelmed with the amount of consumer participation and positive reception to Project CSX,” said Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA. “As the first smartphone manufacturer to take on crowdsourcing its next mobile device from start to finish, we are proud of how this project pushed the envelope, and that consumers from around the world have chosen to be part of this industry-disrupting process.”
Thousands of consumers from 176 countries participated in the voting process that progressed from ideation through to conceptualisation – with the winning device to be unveiled at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
While the project might have more than a hint of marketing drive behind it, ZTE suggests that it aims to keep with the ‘spirit in which Project CSX was conceived’, and a crowdsourcing element to everything it produces.
“Now that the world has told us what they want ZTE to build, we are entering the product development phase of Project CSX,” stated Jeff Yee, senior VP of technology planning and partnerships of ZTE USA.
“However, the crowdsourcing element may not be completely over, as we look to continue to keep consumers at the forefront of everything we do – in this case, helping to determine the official device name to determining the product colors and more.”
The top five devices garnered the following percentage of votes:
Eye Tracking, Self-Adhesive Phone – 36%
Intelligent Smartphone Covers – 21%
Stock Android Flagship Phone – 19%
VR-Interactive Diving Mask – 16%
Powerglove – 8%