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Home > Tech News > OnePlus Concept One debuts at CES 2020
OnePlus Concept One  debuts at CES 2020

OnePlus Concept One debuts at CES 2020

By  Alie Iwasaki 2020-01-10 2797 21

On January 7, 2020, the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) officially kicked off in Las Vegas, USA. As a weather vane in the technology industry, manufacturers from all over the world announced the latest research and development achievements at the exhibition, while the domestic mobile phone manufacturer OnePlus brought its latest OnePlus Concept One McLaren version of mobile phones during the exhibition. This is also the first conceptual product announced by OnePlus, that is, the "latent aftershot" brought about by electrochromic technology.

OnePlus Concept One McLaren version

Over the past year, we have seen different levels of exploration of the ideology of mobile phones by global manufacturers, from structure to shape, and even material changes have given us unlimited vision for the future of mobile phones. One of the fastest growing is the great leap forward in photography by mobile phones. From the previous megapixels to hundreds of millions of pixels, from single to multi-shot, we must admit that the evolution of technology has brought us a better photo experience, but because of physical characteristics, the majority of designers also have to sacrifice the pursuit of beauty in the appearance of mobile phones-- the design compromises for the sake of function.

Do you remember the feeling of disobedience when you saw a certain five-camera mobile phone at the beginning of last year? Do you still remember those jokes on the Internet that use mahjong "tube cards" to describe different mobile phones? In fact, more and more people bring out a kind of anxiety while making fun of it-there are more and more cameras and the arrangement is getting weirder and weirder. Admittedly, in order to obtain better image quality on mobile phones, multi-cameras have become an insurmountable link in current mobile phone design, and the contradiction between them has led to users' demands for products. This is also one of the problems that mobile phone manufacturers are eager to solve.

OnePlus Concept One McLaren version

From the first four-curved AG glass phone to the first 2K 90Hz fluid screen, OnePlus is different from other manufacturers in that it is keen to improve the overall user experience through changes in details, and OnePlus's requirements at this point may even make people feel a little "harsh". Often these subtle changes can not give people the most intuitive feeling, but when you really get started, you can feel the unique product design concept of OnePlus mobile phone. Perhaps in OnePlus's view, the ultimate product design can implement its "don't make do with" personality label.

Electrochromic glass

The "latent aftershot" adopted by the OnePlus Concept One McLaren version brought about by OnePlus is another subversion of the entire mobile phone industry, which cleverly hides annoying cameras so that they no longer become a "flaw" in mobile phone design, and the idea behind electrochromic technology is by no means a simple appearance change. The so-called electrochromic glass is a kind of glass that changes the optical properties of the glass by changing the current and voltage, including reflectivity, transmittance, absorptivity and so on. It can keep the glass transparent and colored and reversible. By changing the intensity of current and voltage, the transparency of the glass can also be adjusted. The technology, which was supposed to be used in glass curtain walls on buildings and sunscreens on airplanes, had never been used on mobile phones before.

Unlike the previous scenarios, there are four difficulties in using this material on a mobile phone. First of all, in view of the fact that electrochromic glass was mostly used in large-scale industrial products such as buildings, airplanes and cars before, how to reduce the volume of mobile phones has become a big problem. and mobile phones have extremely high requirements for the weight, thickness and strength of glass materials. In this latent aftershot brought by OnePlus, the thickness of electrochromic glass is only 0.35mm, and 0.05mm 's electrochromic material makes it the thinnest electrochromic glass in the world-the lightweight volume makes it possible for such materials to be used in mobile phones.

OnePlus Concept One McLaren version of "latent aftershot"

Secondly, through the prototype, we can see that the time interval of the electrochromic glass from black to transparent is very fast, which is close to the response speed of turning on the camera App. But in fact, the previous electrochromic material does not require high response speed when it is used in other fields, but if it becomes the cover glass of the mobile phone camera, the previous response speed can never keep up with the application startup speed. In order not to affect the practical application, OnePlus increases the time of discoloration to 0.7 seconds, and the lens that disappears in a moment can be directly put into use, which is believed to have played a great role in promoting the electrochromic material industry.

OnePlus Concept One McLaren version

In addition, since it is used in the camera cover glass, then there are extremely stringent requirements for the transmittance of this glass. By optimizing the optical design of the entire module, OnePlus has created the electrochromic glass with the highest light transmittance in the industry. At the same time, it also gives the mobile phone a unique physical filter function, officially known as Alternate ND. Through the physical properties of this controllable material, users can adjust the transparency of the glass to control the amount of light into the lens, so as to achieve the effect of the ND filter of the SLR camera and get an unexpected photo experience. In professional mode, users can also shoot special effects such as "silk running water" with a longer shutter time.

Alternate ND  

Finally, it is also the point that users are most concerned about, that is, whether the power consumption produced by electrochromic glass will affect the overall battery life of the mobile phone. It is proved by experiments that the power consumption of the electrochromic glass adjusted by OnePlus has been reduced from the massive energy consumption of the prototype product to the maximum power consumption of 2~3mAh per hour, which is almost no different from the power consumption of OnePlus7T Pro.

Although it may seem easy, the process of solving these problems is by no means as simple as we describe. According to Liu Zuohu, OnePlusCEO, the whole "latent camera" has been developed for 18 months, and the human and financial costs during this period are difficult to estimate. The final landing on OnePlus Concept One is also the result of joint efforts with suppliers, and now has begun to carry out mass production plans, presumably after overcoming the problems of quality rate and cost, this technology will appear in future OnePlus products.

In addition to the "latent aftershot", the OnePlus Concept One still combines many of the design elements of the McLaren supercar, such as the shape of the rear cover, inspired by McLaren's chair. From the overall shape of OnePlus Concept One to manual stitching design, and even leather material, we can see that McLaren's aesthetic idea of industrial design is born out of McLaren. In addition, it is worth mentioning that the middle frame of this OnePlus Concept One is made of specially processed aluminum alloy. Zeng Xi, the creative director, told us that aluminum alloy usually has a lighter weight than stainless steel, but it is inevitable that aluminum alloy polishing can be achieved, and it is extremely difficult to apply to the aesthetic requirements of mobile phones. In order to solve this problem, OnePlus is made by PVD technology. The 24K gold is gasified and coated on the aluminum alloy material to obtain a highlight texture comparable to that of jewelry, as well as a lightweight property, further achieving a balance between look and feel and weight.

OnePlus Concept One McLaren version

Today, the development of smart phone has gone far beyond the function of its original design. It is no longer a simple communication tool, but a "phantom limb" of human beings. We use mobile phones to communicate with the world, record our daily life, use mobile phones to expand our imagination, and create life with mobile phones. However, with the continuous development of the function, the deficiency of the subtle ends of the "phantom limb" will make us feel a great defect. This is why many manufacturers continue to make trade-offs in function and design, although it consumes a huge cost in the process of this game, it also promotes the progress of the whole industry chain at the same time.

OnePlus Concept One McLaren version

"Just want to do my job, honestly do the product", Liu Zuohu more than once expressed the original intention of OnePlus doing mobile phone at the press conference, this is the "Tao" held by OnePlus, whether it is to bring electrochromic glass to the mobile phone industry, let technology create materials, and then let materials be endowed with technology, or through deletion and simplicity to bring users all aspects of the "burden-free" experience, this is the "art" performed by OnePlus. The good news is that most of the manufacturers in the market have found their own "Tao" through years of experience, and the difference lies in the pursuit of "Tao" through different "techniques". The changes brought about by each foray into a new field drive the development of the industry as a whole, which is probably why technological progress is really exciting while providing convenience.

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