There are a lot of concept gadgets that exist as demo videos and never actually see the light of day. OnePlus doesn’t do that: last year it brought the Concept One to CES to show off its “disappearing” rear camera module. There’s no in-person CES this year, but there is a new OnePlus Concept, this time based on the 8T.
OnePlus has refined the color-changing glass hardware that was in the previous concept device for the 8T Concept. This time it’s spread out all over the rear of the device (which looks like it shares most of its other hardware with the OP 8T that went on sale a couple of months ago). The wavy patterns on the rear case change color from an off-silver to blue, controlled by an electrical current regulated by the phone’s hardware.
Like the previous concept, this application is almost entirely stylish. Technically it could be used to display notifications or call alerts, but its on/off nature would seem to limit its utility. But the 8T Concept also includes a “radar” sensor embedded in the camera module, emitting and sensing mmWaves similar to 5G frequencies (which don’t interfere with wireless performance). This can be used for gesture controls, a la Google’s now-abandoned Soli tech, or even detect breathing.
The fancy camera cover and leather body of the Concept One didn’t make it into a retail product, and it seems unlikely that the color-changing panels of the 8T Concept will. But OnePlus doesn’t seem ready to let go of its ECMF (Electronic Color, Material, and Finish) development just yet. We may see it implemented in some fashion over the next few years, especially if OnePlus feels it needs a hook to compete with emerging foldable designs.
Source: OnePlus forum