Vivo shows off phone prototype with unique color-changing glass back

Chinese company Vivo is showing off a new smartphone prototype that features a unique color-changing glass back, one that dramatically shifts through different hues seemingly by magic. A video of the device in action was shared directly by Vivo on Chinese social media, with the company explaining that while the underlying technology behind the design is complex, the final result is simple and 'gorgeous.'

The new Vivo smartphone sports a unique electrochromic glass back that appears to shift from a near-purple color all the way to solid silver as the phone is rotated. This process doesn't drain the phone's battery, Vivo notes, going into more detail in a video on Weibo.

Electrochromic glass is most commonly used in things like skylights and glass offices; it can be tinted using electricity. This isn't the first time we've seen the glass incorporated into a smartphone — OnePlus showed off its own design concept involving this type of glass earlier this year.

The effect is somewhat similar to dramatic color-shifting designs like Samsung used on its Galaxy Note 10 smartphones, but it is far more extensive than just color-shifting. In this case, the color changes entirely, making the device look like a different device depending on how it is viewed.

Such a design could be appealing to consumers who have trouble choosing which color handset to buy, but others will likely view it as little more than a momentarily interesting gimmick. Whether we'll see this color-changing design offered in a future retail model is yet to be seen; Vivo hasn't stated any plans at this time.