Red, the makers of some of the most desirable high end camera gear are branching out to make a mobile phone. Red being Red you can be guaranteed that this will be no normal Android mobile phone, not by any stretch of your imagination. Early demonstrations seem to suggest this is exactly the right assumption, from its titanium industrial looking body to its holographic display this is shaping up to be a work of high tech art. Red are aiming to manufacture nothing short of a cinematic revolution that can fit into your pocket.
The holographic display being touted by Red on the Hydrogen One is the product of Leia Inc and while it is difficult to capture the 3D nature of a holographic display in a humble YouTube video (see above ) all who have seen it have been stunned. The Leia Inc holographic technology uses a modified LCD display that includes a special layer of nanoparticles to create a light field effect that causes diffraction of the back light which in turn produces the holographic effect. Diffractive Lightfield Backlighting is the name of the technology and it isn’t just for phones with Leia Inc working to bring their technology to monitors and automotive displays, hell everything is better with holograms so why not.
Unlike traditional 3D displays which add depth that goes back into the display the Red holographic display allows content to pop out of the display. Finally Star Wars style battle chess may be a possibility. Leia Inc’s company name is actually derived from Princess Leia and as a company they aim to shift R2D2’s holographic projection abilities from the realms of science fiction into world of science reality.
Even by today’s standards the Hydrogen One itself is a large phone, a necessity to house the 5.7 inch display. The unusual grip shaped edges give it an industrial look and a strip of gold magnetic contacts provide for expansion modules. With the Hydrogen being touted as a pocket cinema camera the first expansion module will be a camera expansion that will rival mirrorless full body camera’s with its lens mounts and large format CCD. Although where not sure how we will fit a lens in our pocket without the old line being used, ‘is that a lens in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?’
The aluminium and Kevlar Hydrogen One will retail for $1195 USD while the even more desirable Titanium model will retail for $1595. This may sound like a lot to many, and it is, but it is in reality only a few hundred dollars more than the iPhone 8 or Samsung Note 8. Pre-orders are being taken now with deliveries expected in the first quarter of 2018.
While many of have dreamed of getting our hands on a Red 4K cinema class camera for many years there is hope that the Hydrogen One will be a little more accessible. Now all we have to do is convince everyone to shoot with their camera in landscape profile, turn you phone sideways people for gods sake.