OnePlus, a global mobile technology company, unveiled today its first-ever concept phone, the OnePlus Concept One, at CES 2020.
The OnePlus Concept One is the first phone to use color-shifting glass technology (electrochromic glass technology), allowing it to change transparency and giving it an "invisible camera". The design and lays the foundation for future smartphones with new capabilities. OnePlus collaborated with its partner McLaren, the racing and technology brand and creator of high performance sportscars and supercars, on the concept phone's design.
OnePlus has also continuously experimented with CMF to create devices that are more comfortable to hold. Bamboo, wood, Kevlar, Alcantara, matte-frosted glass, and ceramic were all first applied to smartphone design by OnePlus, and all in order to achieve a better experience for the user with the combination of both visual beauty and great feel.
The glass of the OnePlus Concept One uses organic particles to create changes in transparency so that the glass covering the camera lenses can shift in an instant from opaque black to entirely clear. Presenting an unbroken surface when not in use, the "invisible" design is a manifest example of OnePlus's "burdenless" design philosophy. The glass also provides a practical benefit, doubling as a built-in polarizing filter for the camera that allows users to achieve more finely detailed shots under strong light.
The OnePlus Concept One draws inspiration from similar technology used in McLaren's 720S Spider luxury sportscar, which features a retractable hard top glazed with an electrochromic glass panel that can rapidly switch between tinted and transparent states. Additionally, the OnePlus Concept One design integrates both glass and leather, using the same luxury trim specially tailored for McLaren's supercars, in the iconic McLaren papaya orange—a tribute to McLaren Racing's history and seen on the current McLaren Racing Formula 1 car.
One of the challenges was that the glass needed to be made exceptionally thin and light without leaving it fragile. Electrochromic glass is usually composed of two panels of glass with a color-shifting material in between them. For the OnePlus Concept One, OnePlus managed to achieve something far thinner than industry average. Here, the glass panels are just 0.1mm each, for a combined total of only 0.35mm. That's as thin as a glass display protector film.
The OnePlus Concept One's invisible camera was tested and calibrated for speed. The OnePlus Concept One takes a mere 0.7s for the glass to transition from solid black to fully clear, faster even than the camera itself takes to fully activate. That is the fastest speed yet achieved in the industry, and it uses almost no power.