The first OnePlus concept phone — inventively dubbed the Concept One — was unveiled at CES at the start of this year, featuring an electrochromic color-changing glass panel that could hide and show the rear cameras when needed. Building on that theme, the company has announced a OnePlus 8T concept phone with an abstract pattern on the rear that can shift between dark blue and light silver.
This latest experimental phone is the brainchild of a brand-new creative studio called OnePlus Gaudí, comprising 39 designers based in Shenzhen, Tapei, New York, and India. The OnePlus 8T Concept has a metal oxide-infused glass film applied to the pattern on the rear, which can be caused to activate with differing voltages and in turn change color. The team is testing out different types of interactivity to give the technology meaning, such as combining it with a mmWave radar module that can recognize and track objects.
Of the potential use cases being looked at, the most beneficial could be touchless notifications. The device could flash colors for an incoming call or message — think of it as a notification LED on steroids. Gestures could then be incorporated for hands-free control similar to that which the Soli chip enables on the Pixel 4. It could also be used to monitor a user's breathing, turning the phone into a biofeedback device.
It's unclear what stage this concept phone is actually at, and whether any of those applications will be viable anytime soon, but it certainly offers up some intriguing possibilities for future OnePlus phones.