Vote for ZTE's Crowdsourced Gadget Now


Want to force a multi-billion dollar phone company to make something you like? Voting has now started in ZTE's Project CSX, the company's attempt to harness the collective wisdom of the Internet to select its next great device.

But the wisdom of the crowd may be less original and imaginative than ZTE would like. The company received almost 400 idea submissions during August, ZTE VP Jeff Yee said, of which about half were phones, 15-20 percent were VR-related, and "maybe an equal number of wearables." The current front-runner is just a phone running the Ubuntu OS, an idea that is already being done by Meizu and BQ.

"I think the project gets validated when we have a new category of device," Yee said. "I posted a few blogs trying to get people to think out of the box, and I got, 'you should design a smartphone with a Snapdragon 830 chip.'"

That said, if the Ubuntu phone wins, "I still have a hard time saying that ZTE can't remain committed to it," Yee said.

The second-place idea right now is pretty original—it's a hands-free smartphone with a self-adhesive back, which you stick to things. But many of the top ideas are concepts we've seen before in other retail products, for instance Google's modular Project Ara or Yotaphone's e-ink screen.

Voting has been restricted a bit by the fact that you have to sign up for an account on ZTE's ZCommunity website to participate, Yee acknowledged, which may have skewed participation towards passionate niche communities. "We need to make sure that we're opening up this voting process so we can hear from thousands of users," he said.

The top 20 vote winners will be validated by a panel of judges, and then three basic ideas will move onto a community-run design phase on Sept. 12. Various designs based on those three winning concepts, plus a fourth "wild card" concept, will be narrowed to five final designs on Oct. 12, with the creators of final five ideas garnering $1,500 each, Yee said.

The winning device will enter production with a dedicated team at ZTE in charge, and it will come out in 2017. If it's a phone, Yee said, the "un-carrier" (meaning T-Mobile) has expressed interest in seeing what comes out of the project.

"If it's a smartphone it might be December of next year; if it's something simple it might be March," he said.

0 Comment

Leave a Reply

Captcha image


  • 5300c769af79e

    Swiftkey Introduces Swiftmoji, a Keyboard to Help Predict Your Next Emoji

    The new keyboard (yes, they made another keyboard) is called Swiftmoji and it aims to help you become the emoji champion you always hoped to become.In fact, the sell here is that it “removes the frustration of playing hunt-the-emoji” from your life and predicts which emoji you might want.
  • 5300c769af79e

    CyberLink PhotoDirector 7 Ultra

    You can get PhotoDirector 7 as part of CyberLink's $194.InterfaceVersion 7 of PhotoDirector doesn't include any drastic changes to the program's interface, which was clear and attractive already.
  • 5300c769af79e

    The Best iPhone 5s & iPhone 5 Cases

    Though Apple has since moved on to the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 5s remains a solid smartphone that should appeal to those who want a smaller device.We've done our best to round up the coolest iPhone 5s cases we've seen.
  • 5300c769af79e

    10 iPhone, Android Apps For Your Summer Travels

    Use these 10 mobile apps to plan your trip, prepare for departure, and navigate new places with less hassle.Memorial Day Weekend, otherwise known as the unofficial start to summer, is only a couple of weeks away.