27 Jul 2017

RED Hydrogen: Jannard provides mini update

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Hydrogen: still mysterious but perhaps not for long. Hydrogen: still mysterious but perhaps not for long. RED

In keeping with the promise to steadily drip out information about the forthcoming Hydrogen smartphone/computing platform, RED CEO, Jim Jannard, has posting an update to the REDuser forum.

“It has been pretty quiet from us since the announcement,” he wrote. “That doesn't mean we aren't Mach 8 hair on fire just the way we like it.”

Indeed.

There then followed a numbered bullet point statement which we'll step through quickly in turn.

1. Mikael from Foolcontrol just acknowledged that he will fully support Hydrogen.

Foolcontrol has been one of the most prominent members of the RED third party community. As apps go it’s not cheap, coming in at a fairly eye-watering $170, but then it does give you full wireless control over any RED DSMC camera on your network. Based on what we know so far, Hydrogen would seem to be a competitor. But then, we actually know very little. So file this one under ‘Hmmmm…’.

2. "Ground-breaking, barrier-smashing, bar-raising and badass.” JJ Abrams after seeing Hydrogen.

Abrams always gives good quote.

3. Major world carrier signed to carry Hydrogen in all stores will announce soon.

This is interesting. Despite what RED has said to date, there is a definite school of opinion out there that Hydrogen will turn out to be little more than a glorified remote control for the RED cameras; decouple it from that ecosystem and you’re not left with much. This would imply exactly the opposite, though it will be interesting to see if the world carrier in question is also planning to have Hydrogen in stores around the world or will curtail rollout initially to the US.

4. System design and integration is 3 steps ahead of when we announced.

Good to hear. Will be good to also hear how that chimes with the roadmap to get the units in people’s hands for Q1 2018.

6. The current offer to order early will expire soon. Jump on or suffer remorse.

Pricing as of now is $1195 for the aluminium model, $1595 for the titanium. How remorseful people will be when the full pricing is announced can only be guessed at, though even people pre-ordering now have to admit that $1200 is a lot of money for an Android phone. (Readers with really big piles of cash to burn are directed towards the handmade Swiss Goldvish Eclipse, yours for a mere starting price of €5220.)

You will have noticed that we skipped 5. That’s because it’s probably the most exciting one.

5. Working prototypes are being shown. It is real. Look for posts next week.

Exactly who these prototypes are being shown to we don't know yet. It might be one of the big US techblogs under lab conditions, it could just be a video of JJ Abrams saying ‘Wow’ with the odd lens flare thrown in. Either way, it means that by the end of next week we should know a little more about it all.

Watch this space.


Andy Stout

Andy has spent over two decades writing about all aspects of the broadcast and film industries for a variety of high-profile industry publications on both sides of the Atlantic. During that time the industry has moved from 4:3 SD to 16:9 SD to HD and now on to 4K HDR. He's getting kind of curious to see where it goes next.

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