OnePlus inadvertently disables ‘X-Ray’ filter with an update sent to its global phones

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OnePlus accidentally pushed an over-the-air update that disables a filter that can see through some thin black plastics and, in certain cases, clothes.

Though OnePlus said on May 19 that it would temporarily disable the filter in the Chinese version of its operating system in an update, the company hadn’t planned on removing the filter from its global software. Instead, OnePlus said it would update the filter. The recent update removed the filter for people outside of China anyway.

The filter, called “Photochrom,” creates an X-Ray-like effect by using the infrared sensors built into the OnePlus 8 Pro to capture light that’s not visible to the human eye. The feature was intended to be used to create interesting-looking photos. But it came under scrutiny once people realized that it could sometimes see through clothing.

You can get a good look at how the filter sees through black plastic in the photos at the top of this post, taken from a video shared by Ben Geskin on Twitter. And you can get an idea of how the filter can see through a thin black T-shirt in this video by Unbox Therapy.

The Verge also experimented with the feature, finding that “it only works on very thin black plastic that’s already a little see-through in the right light” and that it’s “hit or miss” with clothing.

The Photochrom filter was “temporarily removed for adjustment,” according to update notes seen by XDA Developers. The notes also said the filter was expected to return “around June,” without disclosing an exact time, according to XDA Developers. A user on OnePlus’ forums reported seeing similar update notes. Android Police installed the update, and confirmed that the Photochrom filter had been removed.

“This OTA inadvertently went out to a limited number of devices,” said a OnePlus spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. It will be re-enabled in the next over-the-air update, the spokesperson said. OnePlus also shared this statement on its forums.

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