October 31, 2020

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X-ray vision: OnePlus 8 Pro photographed through clothing

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It was 1998 when Sony had to call back one of its camcorders for spectacular infrared features that could eventually see through clothing. It’s the year 2020, on an evening in May, when the editors of AndroidPIT thought that the well-deserved end of the day had come. Nobody would have associated this evening in May with any day in 1998. Until Shu sent us a photo. It shows a sheet of paper with the inconspicuous letters “Freakish androidpit.de / com / fr”. The sheet of paper adorns his bare skin – which is actually covered with a covering T-shirt. Wait what?

OnePlus didn’t mention the real killer feature in its new flagship, the OnePlus 8 Pro. Because the smartphone’s camera can literally look through walls – if the material is right. Shu’s photo was taken with the OnePlus 8 Pro and it gets even creepier:

So is the OnePlus 8 a nude scanner? Hardly, don’t worry. But some materials become almost transparent when users of the smartphone use the color filter within the camera app. The reason: A camera sensor of the OnePlus 8 Pro is sensitive to infrared light. Our photo expert Stefan Möllenhoff explains why:

Normal cameras have an IR filter that blocks light outside the visible spectrum. However, some cameras allow a small amount of infrared light. You may have seen this before when you pointed a remote control at the camera and saw how the light appeared when you pressed the buttons on the remote control. The reason for this IR filter over the sensor is that infrared rays would interfere with the end result and affect the image quality.

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Different materials absorb light depending on the wavelength. For this reason, for example, there is a red see-through film – it simply absorbs all visible light with the exception of the “red wavelengths”. In the same way, some things that we do not perceive as being transparent at all – Shu’s T-shirt or the remote control – are actually transparent to other wavelengths; just like the human body is transparent to X-ray wavelengths. If you now have the right camera and sufficient infrared light (e.g. proportionate to sunlight), you can see through materials that are not transparent to the naked eye – but you can see infrared light.

OnePlus has not yet commented on this “new” feature. The smartphone is currently experiencing enormous hype due to the filter. Sure: Many good days have passed since 1998.