In the last few months, we’ve smartphone manufacturers try all sorts of colours and finishes for their back panels. With designs being an extremely subjective aspect, some of these were obviously not very well received. What if smartphones could change their colour based on users’ preferences?
Trying to achieve something similar, Vivo has showcased a phone whose back glass can change colours as desired at the press of a button. The prototype seems to be encased in a special outer body and looks like a transparent cover. For some reason, the camera module has been covered as well.
Vivo’s implementation uses electrochromic glass, a special material which whose opacity changes when a current is applied. It basically uses a low voltage to get the lithium ions to transfer from one layer to the other, thus getting darker. When a button on the outer case is pressed, the phone’s colours slowly start changing from a deep blue to a chrome silver. It needs to be noted that this tech doesn’t consume a lot of power and is unlikely to impact battery life by a lot. Theoretically, it can also allow for a truly transparent back phone.
The OnePlus Concept One did something similar but with its cameras. The outermost glass layer over the lenses could get darker to act as an ND filter to control the amount of light passing through. It can also be used to make the lenses invisible. It opens up a lot of possibilities for photography as shooting settings can be changed without affecting the final output.
Vivo has not shared any information on when this tech will make it on a commercially available smartphone. It’s also unclear if it will have any cost or thickness implications. The phone in the video looks like a Vivo S7, but that could just be for representational purposes.