RED Digital Cinema is known for its ultra high-resolution digital camera systems that shoot everything from action sports to today’s blockbusters — including Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the Hobbit franchise, and Captain America: Civil War. Today, however, founder Jim Jannard announced something completely different after teasing for weeks with tweets saying cryptic things like, “The most frustrating component of changing the world is… time.” So what is it?
It’s a $1,195 smartphone named Hydrogen One. And according to RED, it’s “the world’s first holographic media machine in your pocket.” RED claims that the Hydrogen One can switch easily “between 2D content, holographic mute-view content, 3D content, and interactive games” — no VR headset needed, like with glasses-free 3D television. The smartphone will have a modular design with future attachments meant to help shoot high-res motion and still images. (As of yet we don’t know what these attachments will look like and cost.) RED also claims that the Hydrogen One will work with RED’s existing digital cinema cameras, but exactly how is still unknown.
As for specs, the Hydrogen One will have a 5.7-inch hydrogen holographic display, a USC-C charging port, a headphone jack, an expandable MicroSD card slot and speakers that, via a proprietary H3O algorithm, can convert stereo sound into “expansive multi-dimensional audio.” It will run on Android.
The Hydrogen One smartphone at its current price is clearly targeted at pros, enthusiastic early adopters, and those heavily invested in AR and VR. However, there’s a lot we don’t know, like exact specs what the smartphone will look like. RED’s disclaimer states: “design may change, offer is limited, specs can change, dates can change.” We’ll have to wait until we (or anyone besides Jannard) get a hands-on experience to see whether this is world-shaking or too weird to be true.
The Hydrogen One is expected to ship Q1 2018. Modular attachments are not expected to ship at launch. The smartphone will come in two materials: aluminum ($1,195) and titanium ($1,595). It’s available for pre-order now.