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RED founder shuts down Hydrogen phone project and retires

RED generated plenty of buzz back in 2017 when it announced the Hydrogen One smartphone. The device was set to utilise a holographic display, feature modular add-ons and push the boundaries of smartphones in terms of specs, camera quality and build materials. The phone ended up falling short of the mark and while a second attempt was being planned, the project has now been scrapped, with RED’s founder retiring.

Jim Jannard has always kept open communication with the RED community. In July, he explained that production partners for the Hydrogen One didn’t deliver at the level expected, which made fixing some issues very difficult. He then assured customers that the Hydrogen Two would be designed from scratch and produced with new partners. Unfortunately, some unforeseen health issues have begun having an impact on Jannard, who will now be retiring.

Posting on the H4V forum, Jannard said: “I have spent the past 45 years building ‘inventions wrapped in art’. Just now turning 70 and having a few health issues, it is now time for me to retire. I will be shutting down the HYDROGEN project, ending a career that has included Oakley, RED Digital Cinema and HYDROGEN. I am very proud to have worked with many great people over the years who have signed on to the vision”.

RED Hydrogen will be no more but RED Digital Cinema will remain in place and continue to develop new cameras. This includes the upcoming Komodo, which will launch soon.

KitGuru Says: It is a shame that Hydrogen will be dropped but many will be pleased that RED Digital Cinema will continue on. Hopefully Jim’s health issues can be resolved and retirement treats him well.

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