29 January 2020
OnePlus introduced its Concept One prototype at its first-ever appearance at the CES 2020 event. The main talked-about feature of this concept phone is the new camera-hiding technology, which became possible due to a new kind of glass applied over the back cameras. The electrochromic glass turns glass opaque and transparent when the voltage is applied to it. This creates a vanishing trick and it hides the cameras completely. The best part is, OnePlus has made this design possible with "no awkward layouts" or any camera parts sticking out, as Kevin Tao, the company’s Industrial Design team explains it.
In an interview posted on OnePlus’ forums, Tao talks about the design and idea behind this concept and if the company ever plans to launch it to the public. Together with this, he also took the wraps off of the Concept One in Black color and this looks quite appealing. The yellow-colored Concept One prototype in papaya hue has its own beauty and the latest one has its own charm.
This is the same leather back on Concept One and there is only the change in color, which is now all-Black. The previous model showcased, comes in yellow-orange and black design, whereas the latest one is completely black, with a subtle carbon fiber design. The back, though, is not fully black. It is more like a greying-black leather which produces an ashy-like hue, maybe a charcoal grey color. OnePlus hasn’t shared the front of the device, which is no different, by the way.
Just like every time, OnePlus is now also sharing its thoughts on the design of the Concept One, which of course, does need a separate mention. Calling it to based on the company’s motto of “burdenless design,” Tao explains the idea of achieving it. He specifically stresses the camera arrangement which is just stuck within the back panel and isn’t bumping out. He further touts that the electrochromic glass takes only 0.7s to transition from solid black to fully clear.
Tao reveals that the OnePlus team "spent three months tuning and optimizing both the speed and power consumption for the most carefree user experience." Upon asking if OnePlus can bring this invisible camera tech to the market in the future, Tao shares the obvious that such experiments need time to nurture, however, he did mention, “when the time is ripe we will introduce it to the market.”
Another take away from this interview is the leather material that Tao speaks about. According to Tao, if the company intends to apply similar back design, it will look into alternative materials that can achieve the same look and feel with leather.
Tao said that the new Concept One prototype is at an early stage of development.