First ever smartphone with invisible camera
The OnePlus Concept One is the first phone ever to use color-shifting glass technology (electrochromic glass technology), giving it an “invisible camera.” The device marks a breakthrough exploration in smartphone CMF (color, material, finish) design and lays the foundation for future smartphones with radically new designs and capabilities.
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 a clean, unbroken surface when not in use, the “invisible” design is a manifest example of OnePlus’ “burdenless” design philosophy. This optimal solution is what we call “Electronic CMF”—a new approach in industrial design.
But the glass also provides a practical benefit, doubling as a built-in polarizing filter for the camera that allows users to achieve sharper, more finely detailed shots under strong light.
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OnePlus collaborated with McLaren on the concept phone’s design, drawing inspiration from similar technology used in McLaren’s 720S luxury sports car, which features a glass roof panel that can alter its tint and control the amount of light allowed through. Additionally, the OnePlus Concept One design integrates both glass and leather, using the same stylish, premium quality leather specially tailored for McLaren’s own cars.
The Most Advanced Electrochromic Glass Ever Made
One of the outstanding 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, we managed to achieve something far thinner than industry average: the glass panels are just 0.1mm each, for a combined total of only 0.35mm. That’s as thin as a display glass protector film.
Fast Color Shifting – Only 0.7s
For the best, most effortless experience possible, the Concept One’s invisible camera was rigorously 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, and it uses almost no power. We spent nearly eight months and tested more than a hundred different options before settling on the best solution for looks, speed, and power consumption.