UPDATE: According to Studio Daily, AT&T will host an exclusive public demo of RED’s Hydrogen One at the second-annual AT&T Shape tech confab, June 2-3 at Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles.
By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
We have never built a phone. No one ever tried to integrate a 4-view display in anything before. When we started this project we didn’t know any cell carriers or anything about the cell phone industry. – Jim Jannard, REDUser Forum
When Jim Jannard gave us a sneak peak of the Hydrogen One last year, those who laid down $1200 for preorders were promised shipping by Spring. But due to carrier certification delays, the release date has slipped twice. But with the news that both AT&T and Verizon, which amount to 2/3s the coverage maps in the US, will carry the H-One, the prospect of having to wait through summer for some holographic goodness isn’t all that bad at all.
Even better, RED has used the time to further refine it’s 4 view camera sensor, and now shooters can shoot in the revolutionary new camera format without the need of a modular accessory, which would attach to the expandable pin system on the back. “The move to realtime 4V in phone was a big one that was a full generation forward,” Jannard added. “It warranted a delay. Software upgrades will be tweaking and improving bits and pieces over time not dissimilar to our camera program.”
In addition, RED is working on a sound capture module that will capture high resolution 3d audio in REDs A3d audio format.
I had a great morning with Jim today and he showed me the live, realtime H4V with the front facing and rear camera on the RED Hydrogen 1. It’s great to see H4V processing all happening on the device now. It’s all rather seamless. – Phil Holland, RedUser Forum
The exciting news is that when the phone does launch in the Fall, it won’t be complete, at all. I know that sounds odd, but Jannard explained on the REDUser Forum that Hydrogen will no doubt continue to evolve as new features come on board. “When we launch… the product won’t be complete,” Janard wrote. “There will be more firmware/software updates than any other phone ever made.”
Jannard goes on to add that this is nothing new for the camera company, in fact, it’s part of their pedigree. “All I can say is this is exactly the same situation we were in when we announced the RED ONE,” RED’s founder added.”We had no idea what we were doing, no clue about the cinema industry, etc. You have the right to be nervous. I am.”
Jannard explained that back in 2006, he saw a clear need for something that would push the art of cinematography forward. To blaze a new trail in the digital realm. “I saw the need to push forward with something better… as I do now. This is the single most exciting thing I have ever worked on,” he quipped.
So the news that the two largest carriers in the country are signing on to carry RED’s HYDROGEN One has to be a sigh of relief for Jannard. It means that the phone will be coming sooner, rather than later, and that more carriers will likely come on board as the momentum builds.
But even if they decide to take a wait and see attitude, Jannard is pressing forward with what they have. And he plans to reward those who took the leap of faith and preordered first, earlier than the official launch date.
Everyone will see the 4-view display, hear the A3D audio and see the phone. There will be a few fun extras for the event. – Jim Jannard
To that end, RED is having a viewing party for HYDROGEN One on Saturday at the RED Studios in Hollywood. The faithful will be given a hands on, first look experience from 4-10pm. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
But there’s no denying that after a few brief delays, things are starting to pick up steam, and the great news is, that according to Engadget, Hydrogen One is now on track for a late summer release, rather than Fall, with both AT&T and Verizon listing the phone on their site with that target date. The phone will sell for $1295 for the standard aluminum version, and $1595 for the titanium version.