ZTE’s crowdsourced smartphone, Hawkeye, unveiled at #CES2017, to cost $199

ZTE has announced “Hawkeye” as the winning name of the Project CSX eye-tracking, self-adhesive smartphone device at CES 2017.  With 540 name submissions from consumers around the world, the Hawkeye phone is already available for pre-order on Kickstarter for a discounted price of US $199.

“Project CSX has been a ground-breaking process and the Hawkeye device sets the stage for us in 2017,” said Lixin Cheng, SVP of ZTE Corporation.  “As we move forward with this smartphone, we’ll look to continue to integrate consumers every step of the way.”

Continuing with the crowdsourced theme surrounding Project CSX, the Hawkeye phone is available for pre-order on Kickstarter and is expected to ship globally in Q3 2017.

“With Project CSX, we experimented by turning the typical R&D process on its head and did something completely different within the industry,” said Jeff Yee, VP of Technology Planning and Partnerships of ZTE USA. “We believe that the Hawkeye name reflects the spirit and vision of ZTE as we continue to put the consumer first throughout this entire process and will continue to do so in every phone we deliver.”

Hawkeye is the retail name of ZTE’s crowdsourced, unlocked smartphone built as part of Project CSX (which stands for Crowd Source X) with initial idea, design and name coming directly from consumers.  The name, Hawkeye, was chosen by consumers who can expect to be engaged in the next phases of the project to select materials, colors and help contribute software for the phone. After a voting round which included consumers representing 176 countries, a consensus was reached to develop a hands-free mobile phone.

Project CSX kicked off at CES 2016 when ZTE announced its plans to completely crowdsource a mobile device that the company promised to build in 2017. In October 2016, thousands of consumers from 176 countries selected the winning concept, a device that aims for an easier and smoother user experience with eye-tracking capabilities and a self-adhesive back.

The key features of Hawkeye, submitted by a team of 4 creative designers who won the Project CSX contest, is the that it does not require the use of hands to navigate through common smartphone applications (by recognizing movement of the eyes, pages can scroll automatically up-down or left-right based on movement while voice commands can be used to navigate between pages and the fact that the smartphone comes with an optional case with which it can be mounted to a vertical surface, freeing up the need to hold the phone by the user.  These two unique features therefore give consumers the opportunity to continue using the phone and its apps when one or both hands are otherwise occupied.

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