In a post on H4Vuser, the site dedicated to users of the new RED depth capture format H4V, RED Founder Jim Jannard has announced that they are now working on a new Hydrogen, the Hydrogen 2. If you don't remember the Hydrogen One, it's a consumer market smartphone made by RED that shoots Holograms. Unfortunately, early users weren't very excited about the ultimate results, leaving customers wondering if this is just early days for a truly revolutionary product line or a weird dead-end footnote.
While they have continued to release designs such as a 3D Rig, the new announcement makes it clear that they still see a future in the technology but that major revisions are needed before it will be ready for prime time release.
One odd part of the announcement is that they are placing a lot of the blame for the original device failure on the ODM (Original Device Manufacturer) over-promising and under-delivering, and they are now claiming that they are going to supervise the new ODM they are working with for version 2 much more closely. Blaming your ODM isn't really acceptable even in your first kickstarted project; supervising your manufacturer is an essential part of delivering great products.
A 14-year-old company that has managed to create some truly great products should know how to supervise a manufacturer.
Is this very ambitious company just trying to do too much?
Launching a new 4D format... and a consumer phone business... and a social platform... all at the same time?
After legitimately changing the way movies are shot with the RED ONE, the company launched with a massive bang in a very tough-to-crack market. But the consumer smartphone space has wildly different needs, and Hydrogen faces an uphill battle. Plus... you actually have to see one to "get" it. We literally can't show you it's good features in an article. Also, without the massive infrastructure of an Apple (with their thousands of stores), there just aren't that many places to see one of these in person and get excited about them.
One nice (and very RED part of the announcement) is the statement that original Hydrogen One purchases will get first priority on Hydrogen 2. It's a nice touch.
But wouldn't we have been happier with, say, a RED competitor to the Blackmagic Pocket? Taking all that sensor knowledge, all that raw workflow knowledge, and all their raw patents and make a truly sub-$3k RAW camera...?
For more on the Hydrogen 2 head over to H4VUser.