September 8, 2017

RED Unveils Tech Behind Hydrogen's Holographs

RED Hydrogen One with Holographic Display
The secret to RED Hydrogen's holographic display has a name and that name is Leia.

When RED announced it was going to release a smartphone, it was big news. Even bigger news was that the Hydrogen would feature a holographic display. Of course, we all wanted to know more about that feature, and with RED's recent announcement of its strategic investment with a company called Leia, we have more insight into that technology than we did before. So without further adieu, here are the details we have.

RED Hydrogen
Credit: RED Hydrogen

RED meets Leia

Leia is a startup company that commercializes LCD mobile screens that are able to create holographic content while retaining normal operation of the display, using a proprietary system of lightfield display technology comprised of hardware and software. RED revolutionized the cinema industry seven years ago when it released the world's first digital 4K cinema camera. This synergy between RED and Leia will combine RED's expertise in creating digital content and its connections to the film industry with Leia's proprietary holographic technology to disrupt the world of mobile entertainment. 

How it works

Through its proprietary system, Leia allows users to view and interact with three-dimensional content displayed on (and seeming to protrude out from) the display. Using gesture control made possible by Leia's partnership with Synaptics, users can manipulate images that seem to exist above the surface of the display. The way this works is by adding nanostructures to a conventional LCD in order to create "diffractive lightfield backlighting." Leia claims that this technology doesn't affect the quality of the display, the device's battery consumption or its thickness when not being used for holographic viewing. 

How well it works

While it's annoying that we don't have more substantive data on the Hydrogen and Leia's real-world performance, YouTuber Marques Brownlee, whose videos we referenced in our coverage of the RED Hydrogen's release, has had the opportunity to test the phone and claims that while he was "pretty impressed" with the holographic display, it leaves some room for improvement. 

When you can get one

RED announced the new Hydrogen One will be available "first half of 2018," though earlier announcements claimed "early" 2018. Whether that reflects a change in RED's anticipated release or not is unclear. What we do know is that the phone already has pre-orders for its $1,195 aluminum body and $1,595 Titanium body models and that early bird orders will ship with a special gift. You can pre-order here.      

Your Comment


"Without further ADO": - it's English, not French.

September 8, 2017 at 4:38PM, Edited September 8, 4:39PM


The holographic 3d Tech seems to me to be more applicable to the big screen over cell phones.

September 9, 2017 at 4:03AM, Edited September 9, 4:04AM


The big screen? If you mean tablets, sure, though never heard that term applied to them. If you mean TV or theaters I can't imagine any possible use for this there.

September 9, 2017 at 10:50PM, Edited September 9, 10:50PM


While I almost totally agree there I can see it being used to create a new form of 3D display that would provide certain areas of the theatre better vantages (think concerts or plays) - middle seats going for higher prices than the outskirts, but all still getting to see the same film.

September 15, 2017 at 1:50PM, Edited September 15, 1:50PM

Adam Rahn
Producer / Director

Can't wait to see it on other company phones.... actually I can. I just want longer battery life and life span.... basically Nokia phone technology in a smart phone plus Nokia's bullet resistance proprietary armor.... that would be an actual revolution.

September 10, 2017 at 4:43AM


This synergy between RED and Leia will combine RED's expertise in creating digital content and its connections to the film industry with Leia's proprietary holographic technology to disrupt the world of mobile entertainment. 300 101 questions

October 10, 2017 at 8:42AM


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November 16, 2017 at 9:26PM