OnePlus Concept One: the conceptual mobile with electrochromic glass that makes the rear camera disappear

OnePlus was already leaving clues that he had something in the oven. A seemingly conceptual telephone destined to show what a manufacturer that is growing without hurry but without pause and that is already known far from the most geek sector of smartphone users is capable. The phone, with the name of OnePlus Concept One, has finally become official. Learn more about new devices at 

Little did we know about him except the fact, shown on video by the company itself, that it had a glass that covered it and that it was able to change the opacity by applying electricity. A system similar to the piezoelectric of some sound systems but that varies in color and not in form. Concept One is here but it hasn’t arrived as we expected.

Electricity to make opaque what is transparent

What we wanted is for OnePlus to present the full potential of its new device at CES in Las Vegas, but what we find is that the brand has made it official, but has allocated all the available information about its coating. A presentation based on the design with a phone as an excuse, this Concept One in collaboration with McLaren.

As OnePlus has, the protective glass of its new Concept One is an electrochromic glass. Applying electricity on it, the glass can go from being opaque to being translucent or transparent. Placed on the back of the phone, the glass can make the rear camera disappear under it with a simple but at the same time complex system controlled by the phone itself.

The camera is always hidden except when you are using an application that needs to access it, such as the OnePlus Concept One’s own camera app. “This type of innovation is just the beginning of many other possibilities that will be offered in the future,” commented Pete Lau, CEO, and founder of the company.

Design, protection and polarizing filter, all in one

According to OnePlus, its electrochromic CMF crystal uses organic particles to produce these transparency changes when electricity is applied. But in addition, this electrochromic CMF acts as a polarizing filter for the camera, allowing theoretically to offer sharper images when the ambient light is very intense.

The technology is already known but now reaches the direct smartphones of the OnePlus R&D laboratories

The brand itself highlights that the electrochromic glass, this CMF used in its Concept One, has already been previously used in the industry and that the greatest achievement is the miniaturization of the technology itself to be suitable for use in the construction of smartphones. The CMF of the OnePlus Concept One can change from opaque to transparent and vice versa in just 0.7 seconds and has a thickness once mounted of 0.35 millimeters (with panels of 0.1 millimeters each). Which means, in the words of OnePlus, a thickness similar to that of a screen protector.

Thus, OnePlus formalizes the first mobile phone with an invisible camera. A Concept One that shows that the electrochromic CMF crystal seems ready to stay. We will see what comes out of this discovery in the future, as some advances presented previously have remained as mere anecdotes. Will we get to see commercial telephones with electrochromic CMF glass? OnePlus thinks so.