The OnePlus Concept One prototype smartphone is all set to make its debut at CES 2020. The company has created some mystery around its cameras that will be revealed by then. Recently, OnePlus uploaded a video that teased the device and shows its design in 10 seconds. As it is shown in the video, the OnePlus Concept One features an invisible camera setup that no one has manufactured in the industry yet. Wired further explains that OnePlus has teamed up with long-time collaborator McLaren to use the glass technology in mobile devices that are already found in high-end cars and special aircraft windows.
The rear side camera setup hides under the glass of the phone. The tint of the glass reveals hidden cameras once it is triggered by electrical signals. This makes the triple camera array comes on the front side when you open the camera app and hides it when not in use. Wired suggests that the OnePlus concept Once has a race-car-like design, which isn't exactly surprising considering the device is designed by McLaren. The company is still working on the design and it may not reveal shortly. The CEO Pete Lau of OnePlus says, "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,"
According to the leaks, the OnePlus concept one has the same camera specs as the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition. It will feature a 48MP lens as a primary camera, a 16MP ultra-wide lens, and an 8MP lens to act as a telephoto snapper. The only major difference here is the addition of the special appearance of the glass. When activated, the back of the phone becomes completely black, making the lenses disappear and gives a uniform look to the rear camera. This is the same electrochromic glass used on the optional sunroof on the McLaren 720S supercar. OnePlus was inspired by the car and started working on incorporating the glass in a phone in 2018.
It's not the first time we see Samsung filing a patent application for a flexible mobile display, and getting it approved, but in light with the CEO hint that next year we might see a foldable device become reality, the latest patent is worth your attention. The application has been filed last year, and granted July,7th.
This time the twist is that Samsung has filed for a foldable screen not only of the OLED variety, but an LCD one, too, with roughly the size of one of its Galaxy tablets. The circuit board for the LCD one is on the outside of each half, while with the foldable OLED it is integrated into the package, and bends together with the panel.
Another interesting recent Samsung patent approved by the USPTO involves near-invisible virtual buttons. These are active areas situated near the edge of a touchscreen, which can command the camera app, for instance. The so-called "sensor pads" can apparently be mapped to different functions, too, so imagine a back button that is constantly under the tip of your thumb on the side of the phone, without taking physical space below the screen, or a shutter button that doesn't take away from the scene framing. If and how are these becoming reality, remains to be seen, but the R&D departments keep inventing and patenting, so at some point we will see a variation of those materialize, hopefully not too much further down the road.