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ZTE's crowdsourced gadget competition is down to five

The options include a VR diving mask, a glove to teach you how to play the piano and a... stock Android phone.
Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
October 12, 2016
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Since August, ZTE has been running an American Idol-style contest where, instead of singers, people are asked to judge the firm's future product development. Users were asked to suggest plausible ideas that the company could create and sell within the next rough year, that folks could then vote on. ZTE took three of those offerings, added a further two from a concept phase, and will now put all five to a very public final vote. Between now and October 19th, you'll be able to select which of the potential candidates you'd like to see built — and hopefully will buy once it hits shelves.

The final five options are:

  • An eye-tracking, adhesive smartphone that you can stick to a wall and control with just a glance, which is ideal for reading e-books in the bath.
  • A series of intelligent smartphone covers that expand the utility of your smartphone, much like Alcatel's Magic Flip cases.
  • A power glove that would control your fingers for use in rehabilitation or to teach you how to undertake dextrous tasks, like playing the piano.
  • A stock Android flagship phone that would take on the Nexuses and Pixels of this world.
  • A VR diving mask that'll let you swim in a pool and make you think that you're swimming in the ocean.
Since there are already intelligent smartphone covers and stock Android devices, we're more excited for some of the other options ZTE Is pushing. The notion of a powered glove for rehab and learning, much like the one Georgia Tech devised back in 2012, seems like it has plenty of potential. Then again, the idea of being able to go diving in VR, too, seems like it deserves further exploration. Still, we can't tell you what to vote for, so you can head over to ZTE's website and make your own choice.

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