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OnePlus’ upcoming concept phone will have cameras that disappear when inactive

OnePlus is all set to introduce its first concept phone at the forthcoming Consumer Electronics Show and like clockwork, the China-based company has begun to tease the device, which will be called OnePlus Concept One, in bits and pieces. on Friday, the phone maker has shed further light on what appears to be the project’s headlining feature: A rear camera setup that can disappear.

In a tweet, OnePlus has revealed that the OnePlus Concept One will come equipped with “a groundbreaking invisible camera and color-shifting glass technology.”

We’re bringing the #OnePlusConceptOne to #CES2020, but you don’t have to wait: you can get a sneak peek at it right here, along with its groundbreaking “invisible camera” and color-shifting glass technology.

— OnePlus (@oneplus) January 3, 2020

What that means, as per a Wired exclusive, is that the OnePlus Concept One’s camera array on the back will be covered by a piece of special glass that’s often found on high-end car sunroofs and aircraft windows. Called electrochromic glass, it’s capable of altering its opacity when an electric signal passes through the panel.

So when the cameras are inactive, the glass stays opaque. But as soon as you launch the camera app, it turns translucent and the cameras magically break cover.

The idea likely stemmed from OnePlus’ longtime partnership with McLaren. On top of that, the OnePlus Concept One itself is designed in collaboration with the supercar manufacturer and the rest of the phone’s aesthetic echoes that as well. Similar to other McLaren-branded OnePlus phones, the Concept One has a papaya orange leather back and visible stitching around the edges. A narrow spatula of electrochromic glass runs through the middle of the phone’s back all the way down to the bottom.

In addition, the OnePlus Concept One comes with the same set of cameras as the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition. There’s a 48-megapixel primary lens coupled with a 16-megapixel wide-angle shooter and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera.

However, for now, OnePlus says the Concept One will remain a concept and won’t hit the market anytime soon. “With this approach, we’ll be able to produce smaller amounts of the product and, with feedback from a small group of users, look at the possibility of making a device that’s available for users more widely,” OnePlus CEO Pete Lau told Wired.

You can keep tabs on updates from OnePlus and the rest of the tech companies from our dedicated CES section.

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