Forget voice prompts – I just answered a phone call using nothing but my eyes

woman's eye being tracked
(Image credit: Shutterstock / MaximP)

Back in October, I reported on Honor’s Apple Vision Pro-style eye-tracking technology, which had just been teased in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it segment at Qualcomm’s annual Snapdragon Summit. At the time, Honor used a series of animations to demonstrate how and why this eye-tracking tech might be used, but at MWC 2024, I was able to get hands-on (or eyes-on?) with this decidedly Blade Runner-esque smartphone feature.

Billed as an imminent upgrade for the newly announced Honor Magic 6 Pro flagship, this eye-tracking tech is tucked away inside the phone’s Magic Capsule digital pop-up, which is essentially Honor’s take on Apple’s Dynamic Island. 

By leveraging the Magic 6 Pro’s front-facing camera tech and facial recognition smarts, Magic Capsule is able to recognize the users’ eyes and draw navigational information from the direction of their gaze. I took the feature for a spin at MWC 2024, where I was able to answer a phone call using nothing but my eyes. Check it out in the TikTok below:

@techradar

♬ missedcalls (sped up) - Kudasaibeats & sped up

Pretty neat, right? Honor says this eye-tracking tech has myriad applications – it’s already been used to start and physically move a car, for instance – however its functionality on the Magic 6 Pro is likely to remain limited to more mundane Magic Capsule apps like Timer, Alarm and Call.

Indeed, certain app-based eye-tracking functions have already begun rolling out on Chinese versions of the Honor Magic 6 Pro, with international versions of the device – which are set to begin shipping from March 8 – confirmed to receive eye-tracking “in the future.”

Honor Magic 6 eye-tracking in action

Eye-tracking in action on the Honor Magic 6 Pro (Image credit: Honor)

Of course, eye-based UI control isn’t a totally new technology. As alluded to earlier, Apple has implemented an innovative eye and hand-tracking navigation system on its Vision Pro headset, which TechRadar's Lance Ulanoff described in his Apple Vision Pro review as “a control experience unmatched in the mixed-reality space.”

Until now, though, eye tracking hasn't been seen on a smartphone. And while you’ll still need to pay handsomely for the privilege of having this technology in your pocket – the Honor Magic 6 Pro retails for a hefty £1,099.99 in the UK (availability elsewhere looks unlikely) – it’s clear that you don’t need to spend quite as much as the $3,499 that the Vision Pro will set you back to own a piece of the hands-free future.

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Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 


Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.