Earlier this year, high-end camera maker RED said that it's working on a new Hydrogen smartphone that would come with a holographic display. And now, we're getting a glimpse at what it might have planned.
RED and a small screen technology company named Leia have announced a partnership that will see Leia's technology come to RED's Hydrogen One. According to The Verge, which earlier reported on the feature, Leia was spun off from HP's research labs, and is now partly owned by RED.
According to Leia, its screen technology creates a "lightfield holographic display" designed for mobile devices. While the screens can function as normal displays like you'd find in your current smartphone, Leia's technology can also project 3D objects from the screen. You can then move around your smartphone's display to see the objects at different angles and interact with it as you view them.
To interact with the objects, you'll need to use a set number of gestures that, according to The Verge, have been designed specifically for the technology by Synaptics.
RED is best known for high-end cameras designed for movie studios and those who want to create cinematic videos. That's why the company's announcement earlier this year that it had designs on offering an ultra-high-end smartphone with a holographic display called the Hydrogen One was so surprising. It was also rather surprising that RED put the Hydrogen One up for pre-order without fully describing all of the features and how the holographic display might work.
Now, though, we have some answers. And according to Leia, even though its technology goes above and beyond what your average smartphone display might offer, it does little to drain your smartphone's battery life. It also shouldn't make the smartphone thicker or reduce the visual fidelity of the screen.
However, the Leia technology has yet to find its way to many people and it's impossible to know for sure how well it might perform. There's also the problem of content creators actually making holographic-ready content for the device. Exactly how many app developers and content creators might do that is unknown.
Ultimately, we'll have a chance to try out the holographic technology sometime in the first half of 2018, when RED is expected to launch its handset.