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OnePlus 8T Concept uses mmWave to track your breathing, and looks good doing it

OnePlus is getting a little more … experimental. With the new OnePlus 8T Concept, the company is showing off a number of new features that might eventually make it into OnePlus phones. The new device is essentially a OnePlus 8T, with a few features that OnePlus thinks push the boundaries of current smartphone technology — though whether or not those features end up being used in actual phones in the future is up for debate.

According to OnePlus, the 8T Concept uses a combination of “natural design inspiration and advanced technologies to create a more natural interaction between users and the device.”

For starters, the device once again features OnePlus’ color-changing glass, which was first shown off in the OnePlus Concept One earlier this year. The tech essentially uses a film that contains a metal oxide and changes color from dark blue to light silver when that metal oxide is activated.

OnePlus 8T Concept

But OnePlus is taking that a step further by integrating that tech with mmWave. According to OnePlus, when this device receives and transmits mmWave electromagnetic waves, the device can use a combination of digital signal processing and the CPU to perceive and locate objects in 3D around the phone. Note that this doesn’t necessarily occur during 5G use — the device just uses the ultra-high-frequency radio waves that are similar to and also used in 5G transmission.

The actual uses for this tech, of course, may be a bit limited — but OnePlus has a few ideas. For example, your device could flash different colors for an incoming call, and the call could be accepted or rejected with a gesture, similar to the Pixel 4’s gesture controls, enabled by Soli. Or, OnePlus says that it could be used to register a user’s breathing, and even change color in sync with your breathing.

This kind of tech seems interesting, but how accurate it is, and whether or not people adopt it, remains to be seen. Of course, there’s also the fact that OnePlus has yet to include it in a phone that it’s actually selling — and until then, we can’t really try it out for ourselves.

It is cool to see companies experimenting with new kinds of technology, and it looks like that may continue at OnePlus, too. The company is also announcing OnePlus Gaudi, which is a new team within OnePlus that’s dedicated to integrating technology and art. Safe to say, we should see more of this kind of tech from OnePlus in the future.

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