OnePlus teases “invisible camera” on its Concept One phone ahead of CES

OnePlus teases “invisible camera” on its Concept One phone ahead of CES
Las Vegas will become the home for all sorts of innovative tech between January 7-10, but some companies can’t wait until then to tease us with what they’ll be showing off. Such is the case with OnePlus, it seems, as the company tweeted out a teaser of its infamous Concept One smartphone.

As is tradition with tech teasers, the short video consists of darkness, of which various design elements of the phone emerge for a second or two. We see a mute toggle that does look a bit fancier than usual, followed by a curved-edge display, another thing that we’re well familiar with from OnePlus phones.

But right at the end is the really exciting stuff: the rear camera module of the Concept One. Not only is the module flush with the back panel of the device, a stark contrast from the protruding rectangles (or circles) we’re starting to see everywhere, but the glass covering the lenses becomes opaque when the cameras aren’t in use, hiding them completely.

This is the “invisible camera” OnePlus is referring to in the tweet. The tech that allows it to happen is not new but this is the first time we’ve seen in implemented in a smartphone. Called electrochromic glass, it is usually used in building exteriors and interiors to allow occupants to control the transparency of glass depending on their needs. As the name suggests, the transparency is controlled by electric current passing through the glass. 

The tweet also mentions "color-shifting glass technology" but whatever that refers to, it doesn't seem to be included in the video. Sounds like the latest innovation meant to make back designs look fancier. An effort that would have been more appreciated if phone cases weren't practically mandatory these days to protect expensive devices. 

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Not that anyone talks about how expensive the Concept One will be. OnePlus has stated that currently there are no plans to manufacture the phone. Even the teaser ends with the slogan “Alternate design. Alternate future.” However, if it’s well-received during CES, where the company will showcase it, things might change.

If the Concept One does get to the market, it will likely be a very premium device. It’s developed alongside McLaren, a longtime OnePlus partner for the company’s most expensive models. Add to that the futuristic tech and we might be talking about the first $1,000 OnePlus smartphone.

Either way, we can’t wait to see the whole phone four days from now. Stay tuned for our coverage!

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