OnePlus has unveiled its Concept One smartphone. That device will not be on the market for the time being, but must show new techniques. At the back there is electro-chrome glass that can be darkened to hide the cameras.
According to OnePlus get the device a ‘groundbreaking invisible camera’ and glass that can change color. The teaser video shows a camera module with three cameras and a flash. That module can be ‘hidden’ by darkening the glass.
Opposite Wired OnePlus has clarified how that works. Electrochromic glass is used, which can be made darker by putting it under voltage. That technique is used in the windows of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, among other things. McLaren also uses such glass; OnePlus has worked with that car manufacturer for the glass in the concept smartphone.
OnePlus device with a separate module of electro-chrome glass. Photos: Wired.
In the Dreamliner it takes several seconds for the tint of the glass to change. According to OnePlus, that goes with the Concept One smartphone in a fraction of a second. In their own words, OnePlus has been working on processing the glass in a telephone since the end of 2018, after a designer saw the technology in a McLaren car.
The video also makes it clear that the concept smartphone has a physical slider button. OnePlus also uses this on its current models. This allows users to silence the phone. Furthermore, the video shows a screen with rounded corners and edges. The device does not seem to be foldable.
With the words ‘invisible cameras’, OnePlus could also hint at a front camera behind the screen. Oppo has demonstrated this technique before and OnePlus belongs to the same parent company. OnePlus has not yet fully unveiled the Concept One device. That will happen during the CES exhibition next week.