Since the classic scene with Princess Leia's holographic image being projected through R2-D2's chest in Star Wars, the world and much of it's youth at the time pined for the day where holographic imaging would be in our households. In recent years technology has been teasing the world with such technology and it seems we are closer than ever before. Jose Antunes for ProVideo Coalition reports on the recent advances various companies are making towards achieving this technological goal. Specifically noting RED's HYDROGEN ONE smartphone which are currently taking pre-orders and are set to be released in early 2018. It also promises to work along with RED's camera systems where it will have the ability to control cameras and be a field monitor making it attractive for budding filmmakers and amateurs alike. Usually when new devices such as these are being released they come with unforeseen issues that may persuade consumers interested to wait. In this article however, Antunes gives a brief overview of what other companies have done and are currently doing so RED's HYDROGEN ONE may in fact have many of these kinks worked out by the time of it's release to the public.
The holographic display is, according to Jim Jannard, “incredible. It is multi-view (4-view) as compared to stereo 3D (2-view). Watching shocked faces light up when people see it is really motivating. There is no good way to describe it until you see it. Hopefully we will get some skeptics eyes on it soon… then they can tell you.”
Right now, still following the information provided by RED and Jim Jannard, we know the smartphone “also comes with internal storage and an external micro SD card slot. And a headphone jack. A selfie camera and a back camera. These cameras will not produce cinema quality images. No cell phone does. What we will have is a modular system that adds image quality well beyond any other camera short of our professional cameras.”
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Is HYDROGEN ONE a viable product? I do not have many doubts about it. On one side, we’ve the fact that this modular product will be part of RED’s cinema cameras system, used for everything from controlling cameras to image monitor, as many smartphones already do. So, there is no reason to doubt that RED has covered those aspects already, even if only in conceptual form, and only needs to put them together to introduce a new tool within its own ecosystem, which will, like a Transformer, able to shape shift into different things, from a DSLR-like camera to a not yet imagined cinema camera.
What many doubt is the ability of the smartphone to be a holographic display. In fact, the industry has been after the holographic dream for some time now, and although you can create a simple holographic-like display with a plastic prism placed over your smartphone, we’re not there yet in terms of the holographic concept as we dream it. But we’re getting closer, have no doubt.