What’s a billionaire named Jim Jannard to do after founding and selling Oakley’s for $2.1 billion then creating a state-of-the-art Hollywood-caliber camera manufacturer in RED Digital Camera? Create a phone that can power holograms and doesn’t need a headset for AR or VR, that’s what, apparently.
Today RED announced the Hydrogen One smartphone. Reportedly this is being designed as “the world’s first holographic media machine” and will enable holographic multi-view, 2D and 3D, as well as augmented reality (AR,) virtual reality (VR,) and mixed reality (MR.) What all of that actually means in a practical sense for one headset-less smartphone is hard to determine.
The display is described as a 5.7 inch Hydrogen holographic display that can seamlessly switch between traditional 2D content, holographic multi-view content, 3D content, and interactive games. We don’t really know what it looks like yet because the image above is all we have so far and they’ve already said “design shown may change” as well.
In an interview with Forbes Jannard said, “I never believed that AR and VR would be successful as long as you needed a pair of glasses or a headset to view content. No one wants to drag around another piece of gear that has to be charged every day. Hydrogen opens the door to AR and VR with the one product that you carry with you all the time. We just added holography and stereo 3D for good measure.”
Even though we don’t know much about the device and haven’t seen it in action as of the time of this writing, you can still pre-order the Hydrogen One right now if you want on the official website in two versions: Aluminum for $1,195 and Titanium for $1,595, because why not? The Hydrogen One will start shipping in Q1 2018 and you also get an exclusive token for pre-ordering early. Those prices and the general availability of the device are not guaranteed at the time of release. Taxes and shipping also not included in that price. You can see a full spec sheet right here, but we’ll keep you posted as we find out more.
Let us know what you think down in the comments below!