I’ll admit that I was a touch underwhelmed when I first heard about ZTE’s Project CSX campaign. And while I stand by my initial assertion that the whole thing is a big marketing promotion for the Chinese smartphone maker, the program is a bit more interesting that I’d first believed.
Turns out that for the company, crowdfunding a smartphone means more than just fielding suggestions like bigger screens and better cameras. ZTE has opened itself up to some truly off the wall suggestions as well, and as such, the five finalists really run the gamut from the bizarre to the banal, including everything from a virtual reality diving mask to a phone that runs stock Android and also is better and faster and stuff.
The last round of voting is live now through October 19. Here are the finalists as per ZTE’s description
Eye Tracking, Self-Adhesive Phone: A true hands-free experience that allows you to scroll up or down based on eye movement and a self-adhesive back that would allow the phone to stick to a wall or flat surface.
Intelligent Smartphone Covers: Expend the power of a smartphone through functional cases such as a gamepad, stylus or e-ink flip cover.
Powerglove: An exo-glove that controls your fingers for use in learning or rehabilitation settings, all powered by your Android smartphone.
Stock Android Flagship Phone: The next generation of Axon to include stock Android as well as improvement in performance and camera.
VR-Interactive Diving Mask: A waterproof VR mask allows you to swim in a pool or lake and feel like you’re in the open ocean.
As I said, it’s a pretty broad spectrum. The grand prize winner of the contest will receive a trip to CES 2017, which still qualifies as a prize in some circles, I’m told.