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OnePlus uses McLaren’s sunroof glass tech to hide its cameras

OnePlus has made an appearance at CES 2020 where they have showcased a new concept phone in collaboration with McLaren. It’s called the OnePlus Concept One and it features a striking leather-wrapped Papaya Orange exterior that features one nifty feature from McLaren’s supercars.

The folks at OnePlus are probably sick and tired about the complaints people make about its camera bump and the new concept phone is able to hide its entire rear camera array including the LED flash. This is made possible with electrochromic glass that turn completely black when the cameras are not required. It is the same technology used for the optional USD 9,100 sunroof for the McLaren 720S or on the “dimmable” windows on a Boeing 787. You can see it in action below:

Apparently, Pete Lau of OnePlus had seen the glass during his visit at McLaren’s headquarters and have wondered if he could apply the same tech on a smaller device. The feature works rather discreetly and it doesn’t add unnecessary bulk around the camera module. When the cameras are not activated, all you’ll see is a sleek black line with the McLaren and OnePlus logo on it. It can switch from black to transparent in just 0.7 seconds.

Animation by 9to5Google

Apart from making the triple-cameras disappear, this electrochromic glass has an added feature for photography. According to The Verge, it also doubles as an ND filter which can be toggled by tapping on the “ND8” under the camera’s Pro mode. This can be very useful if you’re trying to take a photo under harsh lighting situations. Once enabled, the filter apparently offers an equivalent of three f-stop reduction but unfortunately, there are no variable adjustments.

At the moment, there are no further details of its specs and there’s a good reason for it. This is just a concept device and there are no plans for it to go into production. However, there’s a possibility that the electrochromic glass might be included on an upcoming OnePlus x McLaren device.

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Alexander Wong