OnePlus is set to bring the “disappearing camera” feature seen on its Concept One smartphone to a commercial device. The Chinese smartphone maker has filed a design patent with the WIPO Global Design Database that shows how future devices will utilize the camera setup with disappearing feature. The patent shows the back panel of a smartphone, which is similar to the one seen on the OnePlus 7T. The design aims to illustrate a mechanism how the camera disappears when not in use.
The image accompanying the patent does not seem to use the dimmable glass like the one seen on the Concept One smartphone. It instead seems to use a rotating camera cover. There are a number of accompanying images to show how the whole mechanism will work. The designs are marked as “closed” state where the camera is not visible to the user. When the camera cover is open, the state changes to “opened”. The patent does not reveal whether this cover opens or closes automatically or there is a manual process.
OnePlus plans a future design with disappearing camera
The patent image shows the front of the device but there is no visible selfie camera at the front. The images also show the top, side and bottom views of the phone. However, there is no sign of an image showing the pop-up selfie camera. This could mean an in-display camera. The technology to make in-display cameras is not ready yet. Oppo recently confirmed that Find X2 will not sport an in-display camera because the tech is not ready.
However, this patent aims to make a smartphone with a back camera that is invisible. OnePlus achieved that with the Concept One, which uses electrochromic glass on the back. However, the company explained that use of electrochromic glass could be expensive. Hence, it seems to be using a cover as a way to hide the cameras. We are not likely to see this on the OnePlus 8 series but the OnePlus 8T might get disappearing back camera as a feature.