ZTE USA, the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the U.S. and second largest in the no-contract market,* today announced that out of nearly 400 submissions made worldwide, the three ideas moving to round two of Project CSX include: an underwater virtual reality headset; a robotic glove controlled by an app; and a phone that can be controlled with eye movements. In round two, consumers will submit design concepts that will bring the top three ideas to life. Concept designs can be submitted from consumers around the world starting today through September 30th at csx.zteusa.com.
“Project CSX is an example of how ZTE continues to lead innovation in the mobile industry. Reinventing the R&D process delivers more value to consumers in terms of end cost and usefulness,” said Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA. “As an end-to-end provider of telecommunications, ZTE is capable of delivering many types of high-quality products consumers will feel proud to say they were a part of building.”
In round two, consumers will need to refine the top three ideas by defining how the product will look, function, and be operated. Submissions will need to detail everything from the user interface to color variants. Concept designs can be drawn or digitally created as long as each submission brings the ideas to life.
There is a small window of opportunity for those who missed the deadline to submit their idea. A wildcard idea will be chosen to join the top three ideas. Wildcard submissions must include both a product idea and a product design to be considered.
“This phase of the project gives a voice to those who see a good idea, but wish to refine it or rethink it,” said Jeff Yee, vice president of Technology Planning and Partnerships at ZTE USA. “We aim to engage consumers at every step of this process, and are providing the platform for them to have the ultimate say in what ZTE builds, and potentially even the direction we head in 2017.”
The top three ideas consumers will help design include:
- Consumers want to part ways with the physical operation of their phones. With this phone, eye tracking technology would help complete common or repetitive tasks that once could only be done by touch. The phone would also feature a self-adhesive polymer case that would stick to several types of surfaces.
- The evolution from wearables to robo-wear turns learning about oneself into educating oneself. This robotic glove helps users learn new tasks such as playing the guitar or other programmable movements the user dictates via an app.
- Consumers want more than waterproofing in their next mobile device, they want complete submersion. This virtual reality headset built specifically for underwater use could transform a backyard swimming pool into the Great Barrier Reef.
Concept designs are due on or before September 30th. From October 1st to 10th consumers will vote to help identify the top ideas. The next round of voting from October 12th to 19th will determine the device ZTE will build next.
*Strategy Analytics, Q2 2016