Latest Tech: Huawei spin-off Honor shows off tech to control a car with your eyes and chatbot based on Meta’s AI

Honor demonstrated how its smartphone eye-tracking technology could be used to control a car.


BARCELONA — Chinese firm Honor on Sunday showed off technology that allows a user to control a car just by using their eyes.

The company’s Magic 6 Pro device launched internationally on Sunday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. As part of its press conference, Honor demonstrated eye-tracking technology in the smartphone. The phone uses the selfie cameras and artificial intelligence to track where on the screen your eyes are looking.

One demo involved an app to control a car. The app had four commands — engine start, engine stop, backward and forward.

In a video about the feature, Honor showed how a person could stare at one of the commands and the car would carry out the function such as moving forward.

While there was no word on if this feature would actually launch with a car maker, Honor is trying to show off new tech in its devices, as smartphone makers look to one up each other with AI features.

Huawei was forced to sell Honor in 2020 to a consortium of buyers to save the brand from being hurt by U.S. sanctions. Since then, Honor has launched devices, including foldable phones, to attempt to grow in the premium segment of the market. Honor is the fourth-biggest smartphone player in China now, but is still small globally.

It will be hoping forward-thinking features like eye-tracking will help boost its smartphone appeal.

One feature that will come to Honor’s Magic 6 Pro overseas is the ability to open an app just by looking at your phone. When a notification pops up at the top of the screen, a user can just stare at it and the eye-tracking tech will open up the relevant app.

With AI the talk of the town at MWC, the world’s biggest mobile trade show, Honor also showed off a concept chatbot that is built on Meta’s Llama2, a so-called large language model which developers can use to create AI applications.

In a demonstration video, a user is seen asking the chatbot for activities to do in Barcelona and to compose a poem about MWC.

It’s unclear when this will launch.

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