Earlier this week, ZTE announced the winners of its Project CSX Challenge in which people could participate by pitching ideas for a smart mobile device that the Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer would then proceed to finance. Out of the numerous crowdsourced ideas pitched over the course of last month, three made the final cut and are now a part of the second phase of this unique competition. The winning ideas include an augmented reality (AR) diving mask which can also be used outside of water, a smartphone capable of easily sticking to any surface equipped with powerful eye-tracking technology, and a wearable glove that facilitates tasks like typing and playing an instrument while being oddly reminiscent of the good old Nintendo Power Glove.
What follows now is another round of pitches as ZTE is looking for viable product concepts, i.e. most effective and affordable ways of turning the aforementioned concepts into reality. The Chinese company is accepting the said product ideas by September 30th. After that, a round of public voting is scheduled to take place from the 1st to the 10th of October. The voters will decide on a single most viable product concept for all three devices after which ZTE will organize yet another vote which will decide which of the three ideas is actually going to be realized. That final grand prize voting will run from the 12th to the 19th of October. The company has also revealed that once the public decides on what to build and how to build it, the realization phase will start almost immediately and the final product will launch at some point next year.
While the CSX program originally started as a way for ZTE to figure out what kind of phone its customers want to own next, the challenge was recently expanded to all kinds of mobile devices. The only two requirements for the pitches were that the suggested products were technically possible to manufacture by 2017 and that they are affordable enough for the general public. So, while many were expecting this challenge to produce a unique smartphone, it seems like it may actually give as a futuristic wearable in the end.