OnePlus 8T Concept Phone Wows With MmWave Radar And Interactive Color-Shifting Glass
It seems Pete Lau and his company, OnePlus, continually strive to innovate with new mobile phones. With every new device, feature, and design, OnePlus pushes the envelope just a little further. Now, the trend is continuing with the unveiling of the OnePlus 8T Concept, a phone designed to "create a more natural interaction between users and the device."
At CES 2020, OnePlus unveiled its experimentation with "color-shifting glass technology," which allowed for a disappearing camera feature. Though it may have been an expensive technology at $9,100 for the add-on, it is clearly still worth investigating. Rather than merely hiding a camera, however, OnePlus decided to "craft new interaction experiences that are more natural, intuitive, and effortless." You can see the concept phone in the trailer below with the design inspired by the "multi-hued flowing water in the hot springs of Pamukkale, Turkey."
The most noticeable technology is the rear color-changing functionality. OnePlus is calling this "Electronic Color, Material, and Finish" or ECMF for short. They claim that this ECMF feature allows a design to "work dynamically with the user and software features." It operates by using a color-changing film embedded into the glass back of the device. When electricity is applied, the metal inside the film changes color from a dark blue to a light silver matching the rest of the device. This ECMF technology has also been paired with mmWave technology. Typically, when one hears of mmWave, they may think of 5G, and it is the same technology. It has just been adapted into a mmWave radar module that lets "the device perceive, image, locate, and track objects."
With both a mmWave radar and ECMF, OnePlus believes that it "is just the first step in opening up a wide range of possibilities for how people interact with their smartphones." While the possibilities are endless, the first idea is touchless notifications, where users can see ECMF reacting to a call and use a gesture to answer it. OnePlus also claims that the mmWave technology can register a user's breathing, and the ECMF color can change in sync, "effectively making the phone a biofeedback device."
These are all intriguing applications of new technologies, and it will be interesting to see what comes of it all in the future. OnePlus now has a permanent R&D team working on projects like this called OnePlus Gaudi, and OnePlus writes that we can expect to "hear more from the OnePlus Gaudi team in the future." Perhaps there will be more information to come at CES this year, so stay tuned to HotHardware for the latest innovations from OnePlus.