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Red Hydrogen One. The second 3D revolution. All info

The era of holographic displays is finally here. Even before Ultra-D. These better-than-3D-without-glasses displays will allow you to see other angles of image like in reality, even 3D blind people can see depth through movement. Still this images will happen inside a screen (not like Hollywood movies floating outside a screen or even around the room without any screen), but images can pop out outside the screen like traditional 3D, but you have to actually look at the screen, you would not see anything (not even in 2d) if you look from a 180 degree position even if the movies trying to convince you about what is a hologram; the exact definition of hologram are the old hologram postcards, a image which you can see in 3D from several angles but you still have to look at that surface, and that is what you get with the new displays, but a lot better, of course.

The device

Red Hydrogen One is an high-end device. Pricey like the last iPhones Xs, but unlike iPhones you will actually pay for innovations, Apple devices offers very few or none innovations every year other than be more powerful and an upgraded camera (and the ironic thing iPhone X camera and previous models are not any good even comparing with phones 1000$ cheaper… specially at night, almost any mid-range or better Android device is better doing photos (except for the Xs), for better video than iPhone Xs Max you will need an high-end Android device, but still at a lower price), and if you don’t play hardcore games you will waste your money having the last device because you don’t need that power for your every-day use. When RH1 was announced people complained the device is too expensive, but then iPhones and Samsungs broke the 1000$ limit. Now, the Red Hydrogen One is cheaper than latest iPhone Xs Max (and they are offering the same of last years), most improvements on iPhones comes from the software updates, and is non-sense to buy new models to have software enhancements (and if you don’t buy the Xs versions you get a bad camera for your money). Even worse, you will need to pay more than the standard price because the prices are for the 64GB models, if you’re a regular user you will need more storage (and if you’re a basic user you don’t need an expensive phone, you better use your money to buy a mid-range device).

Forget all stupid designs of today devices, not curved screen (bye accidental touches when making group selfies), not notch (bye blocking space for notifications), not flat glassy/glossy design (bye accidental falls and ice-like sliding from the table). This device is intended for being practical, is cool and different, but the coolness is flaw-free. You can grip securely your device, you don’t have to hold in a uncomfortable way to not block screen or to make a photo, this device is intended to heavy use and do great things, not to increase your ego showing a don’t-touch-me-or-I-will-break device to your friends. The important thing is the contents you use during your day on the screen, your Apps, the camera, the usability, the practicality, not the design, you don’t use the design, you use all day the device for communicate, browse and watch, not to look all day to the the external design with the screen off. But if you want to boast anyway you will boast more with a totally different device than with the millions of devices with similar design out there.

Details are more important than a list of specifications: You have a 5,7″ display (2560×1440) designed by Leia. You have a camera shutter button. You have a really big battery (4500mAh). You have USB-Type C and 3.5mm headphones jack, so you can use both type of headphones. You have a powerful Snapdragon 835 processor. You have two 4k cameras in front and two 4k cameras back (more than 8MP and 12MP each, respectively). You have deep cavity three speakers, so you can hear loud stereo and spatial audio with and without headphones. You can see 4 view images in portrait and landscape modes too. This 3D images don’t need eye sight, and if you move your head you can see differents angles (up to 4) of the image -even for the people with 3D blindness-, a group of people can see the depth of images simultaneously and without looking for a perfect spot. Fingerprint scanner is directly on Power button, so you can unlock the device at same time you power on the screen. You have a resistant chassis (Kevlar and aluminium -or titanium if you pay the extra price-). You have ergonomic grips to use the device (specially the camera) in any situation without risks. You have a modular design for professional use in mind, modules will hold firmly and use internal space to avoid excessive thickness, you will even be capable to replace the integrated camera. And other boring specs: 6GB RAM, 128GB for storage, BT 5.0, Gorilla Glass Screen protection, dual SIM and microSD slot, etc. You can shoot in 3D with front and back cameras, the system creates a depth map and adds additional views (4V) in real time. Even with such small lens separation the software is capable to adjust the appropriate depth to shots and recordings, but we need to see this with our own eyes. Full surround spatial audio will be available with headphones, Hydrogen speakers will offer near-surround audio.

The holographic screen

The screen allows to use 2D, 3D, AR (augmented reality), VR and H4V (Hydrogen 4 View format) images directly, without VR headsets, seeing the actual depth directly in AR (Android ARCore supported), and you can enjoy different angles from 3D content too (which is captured from one point of view). When the screen is showing content with depth some pixels are used to create a light field, so H4V resolution is smaller than in 2D mode, but if something we learned from 3D is that you get more stunning images in 720p 3D than in 4k 2d, you could see a 4k image without any emotional impact “another beautiful image, cool… Next“. Content looks way better in 3D with a lot less resolution than same content in 2d but a lot more resolution. Of course, as more resolution better will look the 3D, but we’re speaking of a small screen, if you look games like Luiggi’s Mansion 2 or Dead or Alive on the New Nintendo 3DS you will note is a lot more impressive than in 2d mode, and with New Nintendo 3DS you get only a lower-than-vhs 400×240 resolution for 3D, but the 3D image even look way clearer than in 2d 800×240. If 400×240 impact your brain imagine the 1280×720 3D resolution of the RH1, added to be able to tilt the device or move your head to see other angles of image like in reality.

The content

As we said, you just can use existing 3D and VR content and watch them in H4V (without false conversions), so only with this the device will arrive with more content than any other device with a new visualization format, stereo sound will upconvert to spatial audio. Available content is already massive. And native H4V content will arrive from cinema and users themselves. The biggests social networks already support H4V content, users without this device will see the 2d version or even animated like in Holographic calls will be available between RH1 owners. And there’s LeiaLoft. This premium store will bring only high-quality H4V content: Apps, Games, Movies and Videos, and images, most of them with Spatial Audio encoded. Creators are already sending their works to the store. Buyers of the device will get 2 movies for free: Ready Player One and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (this last one have more depth for us, but anyway the first is intended to watch in H4V -or 3D-). On the store you will find titles like the brutal Asphalt 8, this game is totally awesome in 3D with nvidia 3d vision on a computer, we have been playing two years and simply we are not tired to play this game in 3D, in H4V will be even better. Red say there will be 20 games -some free- at launch. Disney -with one of the largest 3D movies library, and that includes the Avengers, Star Wars or Pirates of the Caribbean sagas- will also bring some great 3D titles.

The revolution

This device comes from Red, a company specialized in professional cameras for cinema. Most of the movies you see in the cinema are recorded with Red cameras. And the first owners and interested on the RH1 are precisely content creators from cinema, most of them are paying thousands of dollars for its cameras and accessories, so the modular design (with more pro-grade H4V capture capabilities) will allow this content creators use their RH1 to make high quality H4V content or even movies, and they can use their RH1 for remote operating Red cameras (H4V standalone cameras will arrive eventually), so they will save money on other accessory. There are already users playing with the device, Red selected some users from its forums (most of them are professionals on cinema) to give them an early version with unfinished software to test features and inform errors they encounter before final version hit stores; All this users are telling the same story, when they go to the street to make some photos or videos and show the H4V images to people on the street everybody gets amazed.

This device will be a revolution not only from users point of view, but from the creators too, developing a strong content passionate (and professional) community, closing this way the gap between the new tech and the new content. Programmers and game designers have various tools available to make H4V Apps and games: Android SDK, an Unity SDK, a Maya plugin, and soon After Effects plugins, Unreal SDK and Avatar On Demand API, a tool for converting 3D videos will also be available.

The RH1 will be available in a few days to USA: the November 2nd. You will find it in AT&T, Telcel and Verizon retail stores, or you can buy it directly from Red for 1295$ (1595$ for the Titanium 256GB model when available). Still not notice for European stores, but you can buy right now from RED website.

Like Ultra-D Leia screens will also arrive to computers, tablets, TV, and even HUD for vehicles. Yes, your next car could have an holographic screen for HUD.

This 3D revolutions we have spoken on this two articles (Ultra-D and Leia screens) will bring us a future with more immersive experiences like VR, but without any headset. New devices will be possible and we will speak about this future in the upcoming article the third 3D revolution we will publish in a few months.


3 thoughts on “Red Hydrogen One. The second 3D revolution. All info”

  1. Could someone of you upload ‘normal’ 3D photos taken with the device to
    Because i am curious what the normal 3d images, mpo jps etc. of this device look like in terms of how well it renders 3d images and the picture quality.

  2. Like San10, I would be very much interested in seeing side-by-side stereo pictures obtained with the Hydrogen One, although it might not be possible yet to export H4V pictures in the usual sbs format. The ZTE Axon 7 Max also uses two cameras very close to each other to get a depth map and generate left-right pictures, but the result clearly has many errors, so I wonder if the Hydrogen manages to capture depth more accurately and without noticeable errors, especially in videos.

    I also wonder about the H4V format. The name suggests that it contains four images instead of the usual stereoscopic formats containing two images. But since the views are presumably synthesised from a depth map instead of being taken by four cameras, I suspect that the H4V format has just one picture and a depth map. I hope that the specifications will be detailed soon.

    As for the word “holographic”, it is of course pure marketing hype. It is technically a multi-scopic display with only four views. Common lenticular prints (postcards) have typically dozens of views, and they do not look like holograms at all, so the Hydrogen One screen should be even worse. 4 views would only allow a slight variation of angle of sight. It is a minor improvement over stereoscopic display, but it is nonetheless interesting. I hope someone will soon post a video showing the quality of the display and how it changes as the angle of sight is changed.

    There is already a review by the Verge, and it is very negative.
    They say that the screen is bad and blurry in 3D mode, but it is not clear in the video what are actual shootings of the screen. They also claim that the 3D effect is not good. One should take their review with a grain of salt, since these people are clearly not familiar with stereophotography. Because of the name “holographic”, they expected things to pop out of the screen, which is the typical misconception, and they seemed surprised that taking pictures of people at a certain distance may look flat. From what we can see in the video, the screen quality does not look so bad, but presumably we do not see actual shootings of the screen in 3D mode. Still, they claim that the screen in 3D mode looks worse than that of the Nintendo 3DS (which would be very bad!) and mentioned that the 3D pictures and videos have artefacts (which is worrying). At least it is clear that the Hydrogen One is not quite the revolution that was advertised. Now I hope someone more familiar with 3D will do a more serious review, comparing with existing stereoscopic screens and 3D cameras.

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