OnePlus Concept One: The phone with disappearing cameras

OnePlus Concept One. (Photo: OnePlus)

OnePlus just unveiled a concept phone with disappearing cameras.

The Consumer Electronics Show (C.E.S) is in full swing. Thousands of manufacturers and innovators gathered in Las Vegas for this C.E.S. 2020. There are a variety of companies at the event showcasing from 8K televisions to dual-screen laptops.

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Famous Chinese manufacturer OnePlus showcased some impressive camera tech at C.E.S 2020. The OnePlus Concept One has electrochromic glass that hides the cameras when not in use. Instead of a visible hump due to camera housing, OnePlus opted for this ingenious tech application.

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Once again, OnePlus teamed up with McLaren to produce another premium device. The companies figured out a way to shrink the electrochromic glass technology present in the McLaren 720S Spider. According to OnePlus, the entire electrochromic glass mechanism is only 0.35mm thin.

The electrochromic glass darkens to near opaque levels or becomes transparent when a precise electric current pass through. When the camera app opens, the glass takes only 0.7 seconds to transition from dark to transparent, allowing full photo or video capture. Pretty cool.

Behold, the disappearing cameras. (Photo: Endgadget)

The glass can also function as a neutral density (ND) filter. Photographers use ND filters to help take pictures in bright light conditions without changing individual camera settings and without everything looking like a hot, overexposed (too bright) mess. While in Pro mode on the Concept One, there is an option to use the glass as an ND filter. The image gets visibly darker when ND mode is on. Though this is a cool feature, it’s not as versatile as professional camera equipment.

Disappearing camera aside, the OnePlus Concept One is a sleek device. It looks premium with stitched Papaya Orange leather, reminiscent of the 720s Spider. The back with glass runs down the middle to the base of the device. Additionally, the device has gold sides instead of the usual black. OnePlus used a unique technique called “Physical Vapor Deposition” (PVD) to coat the rim of the phone, giving it its gold colour.

Sadly, the Concept One is simply a concept. The product won’t be available to consumers and is merely a showpiece. The OnePlus Concept One demonstrates that OnePlus can be innovative with existing technology. It would be nice to see the disappearing camera design on an actual product; however, producing this tech may be quite expensive. Electrochromic glass could be used in future products for functional and aesthetic purposes as well.

Stay tuned for more C.E.S 2020 features with exciting tech.