ZTE’s top crowdfunding ideas include an AR diving mask and educational robotic gloves

I’ll admit that when ZTE first launched Project CSX, I was a bit underwhelmed, believing that the initiative was simply focused on handsets. Limited the crowdsourcing competition to those devices seemed like the company was resigning itself to a fate of suggestions along the lines of bigger screens and battery batteries.

And as well and good as those things are, they’re the kind of thing the company is fully capable of figuring out on its own, thank you very much. The whole undertaking still feels a touch gimmicky, but the trio of finalists announced today do point to a company that might truly be willing to give anything a shot in the name of making a splash in the overcrowded mobile space.


The first is undoubtedly the most conventional of the three, a handset that utilizes eye-tracking technology to interface with the device. The concept removes the need to touch-based interactions to complete more competitive tasks. Also, the phone would have an adhesive backing, because why not, right?

The Powerglove (might have to change the name there), meanwhile, is a programmable wearable designed to execute complex tasks like playing the piano or soldering. Tasks can be downloaded using an app and then entered into the glove, at which point the wearer learns through repetition. Or so the pith goes.

The team’s developers have offered up some interesting medical applications for the concept, as well,  “If equipped with flex sensors, detection and stabilization of tremors in addition to a method of rehabilitation for those struggling with rigidity.”


The third concept offers that ever-so-rare bridge between augmented reality and scuba diving. It’s a mask with cameras and a display built it to bring graphics to diving, so users can, say, put a shark in their swimming pool. It undoubtedly presents the most potential safety concerns of the three finalists — but that makes it the most exciting, right?

In the next round, consumers will be asked to further refine the projects. A fourth wildcard selection will also join the finalists. And yes, ZTE is still looking at bringing one of the projects to market.

Here’s VP Jeff Yee on the project, “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.”

So, definitely be on the lookout for that.