What does the Hydrogen One look like? Red partnership offers a glimpse

Red Hydrogen One
Despite already listing for a $1,200-plus pre-order, Red has shared very few specifics about the company’s first smartphone, the Hydrogen One, which comes with a holographic media display. But a new business partnership is shedding light on what, exactly, that “holographic media display” entails. On Thursday, Red Digital Cinema announced a partnership with Leia Inc., a 2014 startup focusing on light field displays.

The partnership, which is both exclusive and long-term, will mix Red’s digital content expertise and Leia’s light field display tech, according to a press release. That agreement is part of the Hydrogen One, which the companies say will include both holographic content and 3D sound for viewing movies and media, gaming, mixed reality, and even social media.

Leia uses nano-photonics to create a holographic screen that preserves the usual smartphone touchscreen functions and also does not create extra bulk. According to Leia’s website, its technology uses diffractive light field backlighting, using nanostructures to give a screen “almost magical” properties — or creating small 3D projections from the screen. A demonstration from 2015 illustrates the idea:

Leia says that its ttechnology does not impact battery life. While the focus is the holographic display for media and games, Leia says the screen also has other uses, like creating “privacy viewing zones,” which would presumably make the screen only viewable from a certain angle.

As part of the partnership, Red invested an undisclosed amount in Leia, while Red founder and chairman Jim Jannard will join Leia’s board of directors.

“This is an incredible opportunity for both companies and a perfect marriage,” Jannard said in a statement. “Leia brings a very special piece of technology that blends seamlessly with our vision of a ground-breaking and disruptive consumer product.”

The Hydrogen One is expected to go on sale during the first half of 2018. The smartphone uses an Android operating system and along with that 5.7-inch holographic display features software for converting stereo sound into multi-dimensional audio. Red also said the smartphone is “the foundation of a future multi-dimensional media system” with modular components, though it is unclear just how modular the smartphone will be. Full specifications have not yet been released.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Get excited for your Sony Xperia 10 or 10 Plus by getting it set up just right

If you've picked up one of the Sony's more affordable smartphones, you may be be wondering what hidden depths lie within. We've got some handy Sony Xperia 10 tips for you here to help you get to grips with your new phone.
Mobile

Samsung’s working on an invisible camera that hides behind a phone’s screen

Samsung envisions an "invisible" camera that hides behind a phone's screen, without any compromise on the way it operates, replacing the current hole-punch camera seen on the Galaxy S10.
Photography

Amid confusion, the Red Hydrogen team promises a pro in-device camera

Learning from the Red Hydrogen One, the company is gearing up for a pro-level device. In a forum post, Red's founder shares how the team is designing a Red Hydrogen with a pro-level in-device camera.
Mobile

Sony's Xperia 10 smartphone boasts a 6-inch screen and is now available

Sony took the wraps off of three new phones at Mobile World Congress 2019, including the new Xperia 1, which is the company's new flagship phone and the first with a 4K OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio.
Mobile

FCC to help first responders pinpoint 911 callers in multistory buildings

When someone calls 911 from their cell phone, wireless carriers provide operators with an approximate location. Now the FCC wants the carriers to provide vertical location data to pinpoint 911 callers inside multi-story buildings.
Mobile

Latest Samsung Galaxy smartphone will pop up on April 10

Samsung will show at least one new Galaxy phone off on April 10, it has confirmed in a teaser tweet. The Galaxy A90 may make its first appearance, and it's rumored to have a pop-up camera and a notch-less screen.
Mobile

Leaked ZTE concept phones are crazy, possibly fake, and totally worth seeing

Renders of what may be ZTE concept phones may show how the manufacturer could avoid using the notch on future devices. They're crazy -- and maybe not even real -- but they're definitely worth looking at.
Mobile

The iPad Mini, Apple’s tiny tablet, makes a return with powerful specs

Apple has finally revealed the iPad Mini. With all-new and upgraded specs, support for the Apple Pencil, and a fantastically inclusive price, here's everything you need to know about the iPad Mini.
Mobile

The Apple iPad Air is the power-packed tablet for everyone

The iPad Air is the less serious cousin to Apple's iPad Pro range, and it's the perfect addition to your coffee table. But it's no less powerful. Here's everything you need to know about the iPad Air.
Deals

This is the one thing you need to do before giving your child a smart phone or tablet

Monitoring your kids' digital habits can be a challenge in today’s high-tech age, but great parental control software like Qustodio gives parents a much-needed advantage Read on to find out how you can protect your child from online…
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Mobile

These voice-changing apps will have you punking friends and family like a pro

Have you ever wanted to call your friends as Darth Vader or Alvin from the Chipmunks? If you want to play a prank on your friends, we have the best voice-changer apps for iOS and Android, whether you want to record audio or make a call.
Mobile

Apple’s new iPads are hardly new at all. Don’t waste your money

It has taken Apple four years to get around to updating the iPad Mini line, but the new iPad Mini is virtually identical to its predecessor. It’s joined by a confusing iPad Air with no obvious target audience. Is Apple just trying to sell…