Recently we saw a potentially groundbreaking piece of new technology released to the public. RED’s Hydrogen One smartphone began to be sold by Verizon and AT&T after months of delays. It is perhaps the most anticipated technological advancement in smartphone technology since you could say the smartphone was introduced. RED has been hyping the phone for well over a year and the reason for that is simple, it is billed as a holographic smartphone.

The price of new tech and what you get

Of course new technology is never cheap and this phone is no different with a $1,295 price tag for an aluminum version and $1,595 for a titanium version (not available yet). Consumers were invited to pre-order it for a slightly reduced price but they were given no peek at what they were actually ordering. That’s a heck of a leap of faith for customers.

What’s new

It has a 5.7 inch display that uses nanotechnology to switch from 2D to 3D content and games. Of course this is not the first foray into 3D or holographic technology and so far no product has been commercially successful but CEO Jim Jannard says this is something completely different and has to be seen to be believed. It uses 4V (Four View) technology which display the pixels in different layers and make the image look holographic.

RED is known more for its digital cameras so its camera will be an integral part of the phone and it will be able to shoot 4V images. The images will be sharable to the Hydrogen One network Holopix and RED says it is working with major social media platforms to include 4V technology for their users. It also has a slot for a microSD card as well for extra storage space. There are also expansion slots for other devices like an actual camera lens that have not been manufactured much less released just yet.

Reviewers are not sold

On the surface it appears to look like any other smartphone. Many experts are questioning whether it will be able to compete with the latest iPhone (which uses a more powerful chip) or any of the other smartphone leaders initially which may doom the product line. The tech reviewer on the Verge blog even went so far as to call it a complete mess. The images appear blurry and while the 4V adds a little bit of depth it is not noticeable enough to be worth the price tag. Depth is a bit more noticeable with the video feature to be fair. A few games have been designed for 4V in RED’s app store but they have not been up to par so far since it seems like the hardware just isn’t powerful enough to run them properly.

When one does think of holographic phones you certainly think of the Star Wars universe and a holographic projection of Princess Leia asking Obi-Wan Kenobi for help. With seemingly more and more sci-fi technology becoming reality this may be another one that has gone from the silver screen to reality. But is it? No one will be confusing this phone with R2-D2 anytime soon and while holographic or 3D technology is probably the next great leap in technology this phone may be getting slightly ahead of itself. Of course someone has to be the first and at some point this technology will be not only viable but mainstream but that could be years from now.

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