While it’s cool to look at as a potential phone, it’s hard to understand why OnePlus would make a big deal about new tech that wouldn’t be launched to the public.
Eric Gass, director of global brand partnerships at OnePlus, said that the electrochromic glass (EC glass) experiment was always meant to be a concept as the brand looked to solve the issue of smartphone sensors being large and prominent, ruining the clean aesthetic of some device design.
While the EC glass project was always meant to be initially used purely as concept, he told us that there is a possibility that it could come to commercially-launched OnePlus phones in the future.
“In terms of when we’ll see it made available, our R&D department will continue perfecting the technology – in terms of bringing it to production, we don’t have any dates just yet,” Gass confirmed.
18 months in the making
It seems likely that the technology will be used in future handsets – after all, the brand spent 18 months developing the right kind of EC glass to function well enough to be used in a phone.
OnePlus had to create glass that was thin enough to let the light through, but thick enough to be robust – as well as being able to change state from opaque to transparent as quickly as the camera app could open. This meant bringing the speed down from four to five seconds to just 0.7 seconds, as well as making it only 0.05mm thick.
While those feel like boastworthy specs from OnePlus, the level of engineering that’s gone into the device mean that it surely will be brought to consumer devices if the cost and power consumption can be brought down to acceptable levels.
One side benefit of the EC glass is the fact a neutral density filter is baked into the glass – these are filters used in photography to alter the wavelength of light, and OnePlus was extolling the virtues of using the opacity-changing glass to allow you to improve smartphone photography, bringing improvements in high-brightness scenes – and OnePlus confirmed that it’s looking at this capability as a future feature to develop for smartphone cameras.
In terms of the EC glass being brought to a consumer device, there’s also an issue with smartphone camera sensors themselves – they’re already quite thick to offer good quality performance, and that’s led to the camera bump OnePlus is trying to eradicate.
With that in mind, it’s hard to believe that the OnePlus Concept One phone has industry-leading camera sensors packed in.
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