OnePlus is disabling the near-infrared 'Color Filter' camera on its 8Pro smartphone over privacy concerns

OnePlus is disabling the near-infrared 'Color Filter' camera on its 8Pro smartphone over privacy concerns

OnePlus has announced its working on an update for its OnePlus 8 Pro smartphone that will disable the 5MP near-infrared camera that was able to see through certain materials, including some clothing, when used with a Photochrom mode in the native camera app.

The Color Filter camera onboard the 8 Pro has been known since the smartphones announcement back in April. However, not much was shared about the particular camera module at the time. It wasnt until 8 Pro units started hitting the front doors of reviewers when it became clear what the 5MP near-infrared camera could see.

Last week in particular, a number of high-profile reviewers and pundits shared examples of just how much the Color Filter camera onboard the 8 Pro could reveal. Most notably, the below video, shared by YouTube channel Unbox Therapy, showed that beyond being able to see through the plastic IR shields built into numerous electronics, it could also see, at least to some degree, underneath certain clothing when stretched unusually thin.

Unsurprisingly, the see-through capability of the 8 Pro brought up privacy concerns, not unlike those that led to Sony recalling more than 700,000 HandyCam camcorders back in 1998 when it was revealed the Nightshot mode on its TRV 615 XR camcorders was revealing more than the general public was comfortable with.

Today @OnePlus decided to temporarily disable the Color Filter camera functionality through software update in the coming week.

In order to eliminate the impact on users privacy under possible extreme circumstances and eliminate everyones concerns. https://t. co/uk3gn9iXvU

Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) May 19, 2020

OnePlus heard the response loud and clear and in an effort to get ahead of any further controversy, OnePlus announced, via Weibo, that it is temporarily disabling the Color Filter camera via a software update within the next week. In the post, OnePlus writes (machine-translated, edited with brackets for clarity):

'When planning the [color] filter lens of OnePlus 8 Pro, we hope[d] to use this lens to perceive the characteristics of infrared light to provide users with a unique texture photography style effect. But recently, based on user feedback, we have found that under very specific environmental conditions, the filter lens may have a slight perspective effect on special materials at very close distances [] In order to eliminate the impact on user privacy under possible extreme circumstances and eliminate everyones concerns, we decided to temporarily disable the filter function through software upgrades. '

OnePlus doesnt elaborate on how temporary this solution is or what the long-term fix will be, but its a start. Its also unknown whether this will be a forced update or something optional users can opt out of to keep the near-infrared capabilities.


oneplus camera filter pro when

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