Huawei's continuing to make a major push for the consumer market — IDG News is reporting that the company is upping its 2012 R&D budget by about 20 percent to $4.5 billion in order to bring "disruptive technology" to the marketplace. Once such innovation teased by John Roese, Huawei's general manager for its North American R&D center, was the concept of a smartphone that recognized gestures without the user having to touch the device. As Roese said, "What if you use the camera of a tablet or a smartphone and use it to capture the visualization of your hands? So imagine instead of touching a smartphone, you can actually have a three-dimensional interaction with it." Roese also detailed some of the technical requirements behind such a system, noting that such a device will need powerful graphics processing and dual front-facing cameras; he also noted that Huawei is likely to build it into tablets first.

Huawei'a also thinking outside the realm of hardware — it also wants to make cloud storage more accessible and less expensive. The company's partnering with CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) and using its cloud storage system to hod and process 15,360TB of data. In regards to this new storage partnership, Roese said "it literally could change the economics of storage by an order of a magnitude." There's no word on when either of these initiatives (or anything else Huawei's R&D department is working on) will be available to consumers, but its good to see Huawei looking to try and bring some innovations to the market, even though its unclear when (or if) we'll see these touch-free phones.