OnePlus at CES 2020 has introduced the OnePlus Concept One smartphone It has been developed in collaboration with McLaren and is the first smartphone to feature an electrochromic glass panel, which can turn transparent or opaque to reveal or hide the rear cameras.

OnePlus Concept One has a disappearing camera

OnePlus claims that it takes just 0.7 seconds to transition from solid black to fully clear, which is quicker than the camera itself takes to fully activate. This was inspired by McLaren’s 720S Spider sports car, which features a retractable hard-top with the same kind of electrochromic material that can be switched between tinted and transparent states. The phone also features a leather panel on the back, in McLaren’s signature Papaya Orange shade. OnePlus hasn’t revealed any details about specifications or when/if it plans to launch this device anytime soon.

The Concept One’s special glass only covers the camera section, while the rest is covered by leather, with exposed stitching. This glass contains organic particles that react to current, to shift to the desired state. Besides this party trick, it also serves a practical purpose as the glass is said to double up as a polarising filter for the cameras when shooting under very harsh light. This is implemented in the camera app in pro mode, and allows for a lower ISO and longer shutter.   The frame of the phone is made of an aluminium alloy treated with a new vapour deposition process so that the thin gold finish layer can be deposited precisely, resulting in what the company calls a subtle shine.

“This concept phone is a significant experiment into the future form of smartphones. OnePlus started this initiative with the goal of bringing the “burdenless” user experience to the next level. The invisible camera stands as a new form of camera design, one that spares the user from the compromises of current camera layouts,” said Pete Lau, CEO and Founder of OnePlus, speaking about the OnePlus Concept One phone.

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