Honor claims that their new phone allows you to open applications with a glance
October 26, 2023

Honor claims that their new phone allows you to open applications with a glance

Honor Magic 6 comes with eye tracking interaction, Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset and numerous AI features

We expected – and got – a lot of new information about generative artificial intelligence this morning when the CEO HonorGeorge Zhao, took the stage at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Summit 2023. However, the announcement of their Honor 6 flagship brought a surprising detail: it brings the ability to interact with the device through the eyes, he writes The Verge. Noticeable privacy concerns aside, this feature looks pretty cool, at least at first glance.

A keynote presentation gave a brief glimpse of what the technology will look like, showing a woman looking at her phone with snippets of the Uber app at the top of the screen – something similar to Live Activity. By changing the direction of her gaze, she opens the application in full screen.

Honor calls this technology “Magic Capsule” and describes it as “multimodal interaction based on eye tracking”, which is more descriptive but less imaginative than “Magic Capsule”.

That's just one of the features of the upcoming Magic 6 phone, which will also have a virtual assistant that uses Qualcomm's AI on the device. You can ask it to do things like gather all the videos on your device that meet certain criteria, filter them by other characteristics, and generate a new video highlighting your clips.

We expect to see a lot more features like this in the near future, as this year's Snapdragon Summit is entirely dedicated to artificial intelligence. It took us 15 minutes into the keynote before 5G was even mentioned, which tells you a lot about what the priorities are today.

Whether – and how – the Magic Capsule works is the question. The demo video is not a true representation, and the feature seems to have the potential to cause more frustration than profit.

The description “multimodal” suggests that gaze is just one input to the system, so it could be paired with other gestures to make it work reliably – perhaps similar to what we've seen in PSVR 2 games that use eye tracking to highlight things before you click to click confirm them.

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All kidding aside, it's nice to see device manufacturers pushing for advancements in the way we use our phones that don't end with an AI chatbot. Reliable eye-tracking technology would have real advantages in terms of accessibility, and this is not entirely unexpected. It could come in handy for times when your hands are busy – Apple certainly thinks there's a need for new ways to control your devices.

Honor hasn't specified when the Magic 6 will be available, but Qualcomm says phones with their new premium chipset will start arriving in the coming weeks.