Watch: This cool color-changing phone switches hues on demand

  • A color-changing smartphone is in development, according to new leaks.
  • The phone uses electrochromatic glass to change the device’s colorway seemingly on demand.
  • It’s not clear which company is developing the concept device.

Color-bending pearlescent finishes hit smartphone design in a big way in recent years, especially noticeable on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 range, but a new implementation of a common technology could give users the power to change colorways on demand.

Per a brief Weibo video posted by tipster Digital Chat Station, color-changing smartphones may not be that distant of a concept. The tipster details a device with an electrochromic glass backplate, a color-morphing material that uses changes in voltage to tweak its color. Check the clip out below.

The concept on display wears a sapphire blue sheen when its user’s thumb is touching its flank but changes to a silvery-white when the thumb is removed. Another video posted to Twitter by Ice Universe suggests a button press activates the process.

Neither tipsters revealed the company behind the device. While the rear camera array is hidden in the Ice Universe clip, the exposed cameras in Digital Chat Station’s video does resemble a similar design used by recent Vivo phones. Of course, this could also be a dummy design used by another firm entirely.

Electrochromic glass isn’t a new concept. It’s been used on aircraft, luxury cars, and in hotels as a smart replacement for curtains, but its potential to morph smartphone colorways is an exciting prospect. The tech doesn’t quite seem to have chameleon-like properties just yet, so future buyers may be limited to just two colors.

There are practical implementations, too. It was employed on the OnePlus Concept One to hide the three rear cameras when not in use, and to act as a filter for the lens itself. This would give photographers more control in bright environments.

That said, the technology is expensive and would add another layer of complexity and expense to modern smartphones. Still, it would be a pretty cool party trick. But what do you think? Vote in our poll below and be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts.

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