Innovation

Jim Jannard, founder of RED cameras is retiring, killing the Hydrogen phone project

So much for holographic phones

RED

Curtains for the holo-phone – RED’s Hydrogen One, the so-called world’s first phone with a “holographic display,” is dead and there won’t be a second-gen version. Jim Jannard, the founder of RED Digital Cinema (and Oakley sunglasses), said in a forum post he’s retiring after 45 years “building inventions wrapped in art.”

Problems from the start – RED is known for its modular, cinema-grade cameras which upended the status quo in the film industry. The cameras are used by major directors like Michael Bay and YouTubers like Marques “MKBHD” Brownlee. Although he’s “shutting down the Hydrogen project,” Jannard said the Hydrogen One will continue to be supported in the future.

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The Hydrogen One has been an epic disaster since its start. The phone launch was delayed, the reviews were harsh, and planned modular accessories like the RED-quality camera attachment never released. Now, RED’s finished developing the system.

A $1,600 paperweight – The Hydrogen One promised a “4D” experience with its “holographic display,” but instead it delivered poor glasses-free 3D visuals similar to what you can get on a Nintendo 3DS. The phone’s only saving grace would have been the camera module, which would give it cinematic, 5K-resolution capture. Unfortunately, that dream is now dead, leaving anyone who spent upwards of $1,600 on it with a bulky device, outdated Android software and performance, and terrible dual cameras.

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