Chinese smartphone maker ZTE wants you to weigh in on its next big product

ZTE Axon 7 Mini Hands On
Malarie Gokey/Digital Trends
ZTE wants consumers to be a little more hands-on in the design process of its smartphones. To that end, the Chinese telecommunications equipment company is moving into a second phase of its CSX program, which is aimed at crowdsourcing ideas for a new and interesting mobile device. In fact, as of today, you can head over to the company’s forum and vote for ideas yourself. This voting process is a new phase in the program.

Ideas aren’t confined to just a phone — you can submit an idea for anything related to mobile — it just has to be affordable and use technology that can be achieved within a year. Some ideas, for example, include a Bluetooth glove that can move mechanically to teach you how to do things like play a piano. Other ideas include a smartphone with a solar panel.

ZTE will end up picking three ideas for the campaign on September 11, after which it will enter the next phase — letting the public submit technical drawings for the winning proposals. Then, in October, the company will choose the final designs, which will be voted on. Those behind the winning entries will also win a trip to CES 2017 in January in Las Vegas, where some version of the new product will be unveiled.

According to ZTE, a hefty 400 ideas were submitted for the campaign, but at least 100 of those were disqualified for a variety of reasons.

It’s certainly an interesting concept, and one that ZTE surely hopes will push sales. After all, people are more likely to buy a product if they feel personally invested in it. The idea also does away with the secretiveness that top tech companies traditionally employ. It’s also a pretty cool idea that the winners will be shown off at CES in Las Vegas — arguably the biggest tech show in the world.

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