High-end camera maker RED has just announced a premium smartphone called Hydrogen One, and the headlining feature is something the company is referring to as a “holographic display.” It comes with a screen that is capable of delivering glass-less 3D visuals.
The Hydrogen One smartphone is powered by Android, and allows users to view all traditional 2D content at full resolution, holographic content generated by a new Red camera, stereo 3D content, and augmented reality in 2D and 3D. Coupled with the display, a new “H3O algorithm” converts stereo sound into “expansive multi-dimensional audio” to match the 3D content.
RED founder Jim Jannard says of the screen technology, “there is no good way to describe it until you see it.” He also writes that “our display is technology you haven’t seen before. It is not lenticular, which is inferior tech in every way, has been tried many times before and failed for good reason.
In addition to displaying content, the RED Hydrogen One will also be a camera for capturing content. A “modular component system,” perhaps similar to what’s found on the Moto Z with its Hasselblad camera add-on, will allow users to use attachments to shoot higher quality still photos and videos, including RED’s new Hydrogen format holographic images. The mobile device can also be used as external monitor and interface for RED’s hugely expensive Scarlet, EPIC, and Weapon digital cinema cameras.
The company writes that the design of the phone may change, but more importantly, “after this initial release we will NOT be able to fill all orders on time due to display production limitations. We will NOT guarantee these prices at the time of release.” The modular attachments won’t be available at launch, either.
A content store will roll out at the same time as the Hydrogen One. Called the “Red Channel,” the store will allow users to fine holographic content, upload creations, and download compatible movies, documentaries, games, and other apps.
Pre-order pricing is $1195 for the aluminum version, and $1595 for the titanium version, with first orders shipping in the first quarter of 2018. Early bird orders will come with a special, undisclosed gift.