OnePlus had recently launched OnePlus 8 Pro, a smartphone with a 5MP color filter camera (AKA infrared sensor) onboard. It comes with a “Color Filter” camera that has a filter called Photochrom. Photochrom uses the smartphone’s infrared sensor to give a specific effect. According to PetaPixel, the company is working on an update that “disables the 5MP ‘color filter’ camera”. This move came after people discovered the camera could see through some materials.
It is said that the company’s action to bring this update is prompted by the backlash from users. OnePlus 8 Pro users were afraid that the camera might be able to see through their clothing. A test conducted by UnboxTherapy on YouTube showed that the 5MP infrared sensor could see through some materials like thin plastics, and in some “very specific and unrealistic circumstances,” clothing also. It was also seen that the camera might be able to show what someone is holding underneath a black shirt. However it was found only in a case when the shirt was stretched tightly enough over the box.
Company’s Response to OnePlus 8 Pro Color Filter
The possible privacy threat, though under extreme circumstances has led the company take an action. The company has decided to update its software to disable the camera functionality temporarily. The news of this update, originally posted on Weibo was took on to Twitter by Ben Geskin. He tweeted that OnePlus will temporarily disable the “Color filter” camera functionality through a software update.
Similar tests were also done by different people but they didn’t find the camera to see through the clothes. Gizmodo UK did one such test and found only electronic components were seen inside some devices in specific cases. They found that the Color filter sensor didn’t see through the clothes. Ben Geskin too said the camera didn’t see through any of the clothes they tested.
As OnePlus describes the update as “temporary,” but it remains unclear when the “Color filter” functionality will be reactivated again. For now, the OnePlus 8 Pro users can only expect the functionality of the IR camera to be disabled.