Last year ZTE asked the public to come up with ideas for a new smartphone. After months of soliciting ideas and whittling down the concepts, ZTE announced the winner of Project CSX: a phone with eye tracking features and an adhesive back that allows you to interact with the phone without touching it.
Now ZTE is giving the concept phone a name: Hawkeye. ANd the company is launching a Kickstarter campaign today to take pre-orders. The plan is to begin shipping the phone to backers in the third quarter of 2017.
Kickstarter backers can reserve a phone for a pledge of $199. The retail price of the phone will be higher when it ships later this year.
So here’s what’s special about Hawkeye. It uses eye-tracking technology to let you scroll automatically up or down, left or right. You can also use voice commands to switch pages.
Since there’s a case with a self-adhesive back, you can also affix the phone to a surface to keep it steady while you’re not holding it, allowing the eye-tracking features to accurately detect eye movements.
This lets you do things like read your news feeds without using your hands, allowing you to eat breakfast, brush your teeth, or perform other two-handed actions while using your phone. It could also be extraordinarily helpful for users with physical disabilities that may make it difficult to interact with touchscreen phones.
While the self-adhesive feature was part of the original concept of the phone, ZTE notes that you might not want a phone that’s always sticky, so the adhesive is being put into an optional case.
ZTE’s Hawkeye phone will probably be one of the more unusual Android handesets to hit the market in 2017. I guess the Kickstarter campaign launching today will help determine how much demand there actually is for this sort of device.