Smartphone cameras Disappearing?

Updated: Feb 3, 2020

At CES 2020, OnePlus revealed its new concept phone which sported disappearing cameras. The device is basically a OnePlus 7T Pro with a brand new and refreshing way of dealing with its cameras. The rear lenses can only be seen when they are in use, but disappear when they aren’t. This never before seen technology had everyone at CES in complete awe.


Image courtesy Neowin.



This technology can prove to serve a greater purpose than just hiding camera lenses. In theory it can act as an ND filter. Helping the camera with over-exposure when lighting conditions are harsh. Also, this hiding of the cameras is major privacy and security benefit. Users need not worry companies having unwanted access to their cameras.

According to 9to5 Google, OnePlus is able to achieve this using electrochromic glass, an electronically “tintable” glass. This glass accord to SageGlass, is controlled by the amount of voltage applied to the glass. Applying a low voltage of electricity darkens the coating as lithium ions and electrons transfer from one electrochromic layer to another. Removing voltage, and reversing its polarity, causes the ions and electrons to return to their original layers, causing the glass to lighten and return to its clear state.


As with every new technology, there are draw backs, same applies here. This new feature will be an added power draw to the device since it requires constant power to keep the glass tinted. It will be interesting to see how OnePlus will tackle this issue if they to release a device with this technology in the near future.


The company has no plans of releasing this device however we may be fortunate to see this piece of technology in action in the near future on one of their flagship devices.

Hopefully we may also see other smartphone companies adopt this technique and refine it and make it standardized on our smart devices.


Are you guys fans of disappearing cameras or do you think it’s just a useless gimmick?

Share your thoughts in the comments.


To learn more about Electrochromic glass you can visit SageGlass for more information.

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