It’s not a real X-ray view but something that looks a lot like it: the infrared sensors of the new OnePlus 8 Pro are in fact able to “see” through some very thin, dark-coloured materials.
The strange function, probably accidental, is easy to verify: just open the camera, select the filter Photocherom and point your smartphone at some objects.
The filter only works on black objects with a minimum thickness, so nothing too strong. The risk is that the system can also achieve results with clothing.
The first to spread the X-ray evidence was Ben Geskin on Twitter, but since then a lot of people have tried to use the OnePlus 8 Pro’s infrared vision and some have confirmed this peculiarity.
How the OnePlus 8 Pro X-ray vision works
It seems that the process is based on the phone’s infrared sensors, which collect a type of radiation invisible to the human eye.
The infrared spectrum is located right above visible light, and is sometimes referred to as “heat radiation,” because that’s how we feel its effects.
Everything around us emits infrared, but because we can’t see it, we can’t see it. About half the energy that comes to Earth from the Sun comes as infrared, for example.
Special types of equipment can capture this type of radiation, including night vision goggles and thermal imaging cameras allowing us to see through certain materials, precisely because infrared passes through them in a way that visible light (which all our eyes perceive) cannot. Firefighters, for example, use thermal imaging cameras to see through smoke in burning buildings.
Now that high-end phones are also starting to incorporate infrared sensors, it looks like they can be used for the same purpose.
Privacy issues and possible solutions
The basic problem concerns above all the protection of privacy: what are the risks involved in distributing a device with this function and making it available to people?
Some users have stated that they were able to see through their clothes and this is no small matter, even if it has to be verified with more accurate tests.
Depending on the severity of the problem, OnePlus may need to limit the function through a software update, but until then, watch out for devices that frame you!