A few months ago, RED, a Cinematic camera company, made a surprise announcement that it would be launching its first smartphone next year. RED’s handset, dubbed the Hydrogen One, is expected to be unique in many ways, but one of its main talking points has been its so-called “holographic” display. So far, not much has been known about this new type of display, but now, the company has released details explaining the technology.
How the holographic display works
On Thursday, CEO Jim Jannard revealed that the company is working with a company called Leia Inc to develop the screens. Leia, which bills itself as “the leading provider of light field holographic display solutions for mobile,” is a spin-off from Hewlett-Packard Labs.
According to Leia, it uses the latest developments “in nano-photonic design and manufacturing to provide a complete lightfield ‘holographic’ display solution for mobile devices.”
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“The Silicon Valley firm commercializes LCD-based mobile screens able to synthesize lightfield holographic content while preserving the normal operation of the display,” says RED in a press release.
Light field displays allow a user to see the same object with two different views (one with each eye). This helps give a 3D effect. If you rotate the display, the objects appear to protrude from the screen. Such a technology surely holds a lot of potential for virtual and augmented reality headsets, but their use for displays is still to be fully tested, notes Engadget.
Further, the company says that users will be able to use the screen just as they do with the screens on other phones. It could very well mean that Leia’s technology will change the way you use your handset. On the other hand, if things don’t work out well or somehow you don’t like the tech, you could always use the Hydrogen One like any other phone.
RED is not the first company to use glasses-free 3D to differentiate its product from others in the market. The Amazon Fire Phone also boasted of a 3D feature, but it wasn’t enough to attract enough users to keep the business running.
Other details about the RED Hydrogen One
The RED Hydrogen One smartphone is already up for pre-order on the official RED website. The aluminum version of the handset costs $1,195, while a titanium variant will come with a price tag of $1,595. The company says that the handset will reach buyers in the first half of 2018.
The RED Hydrogen One also sports an unusual design in which metal, Kevlar and ridged edges are used to make the handset easy to grip. Further, the phone is capable of modular add-ons like camera lenses, which can give the smartphone DSLR-style features, notes Liliputing. The handset will sport a 5.7-inch display, which the company claims will allow users to “seamlessly [switch] between traditional 2D content, holographic multi-view content, 3D content, and interactive games.”
Now with more details out, many could feel the urge to at least experience the screen (if not buy the phone). It seems RED’s founder was already aware that such excitement will exist.
That’s why Jannard said when announcing the phone in July, “There is no good way to describe it until you see it…. our display is technology you haven’t seen before.”