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RED Discontinues Hydrogen Telephone Project as Founder Jim Janard Retires



RED's ambitious hydrogen project ends after the launch of only one device, Hydrogen One, according to a message from company founder Jim Janard that it is "shutting down the HYDROGEN project" as it is being withdrawn due to "several health issues. “

$ 1,995 RED Hydrogen One was the first smartphone from a high-end camera company; first announced in 2017, it promises bold new technologies such as the holographic display, a premium camera system and modular accessories that will expand the phone over time. After a series of delays, the phone was eventually released to unacceptable reception in October 201

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The promised modules never came to fruition and in March, Janard announced "major changes" to the hydrogen program. Instead of attachments for Hydrogen One, the company will instead work on a new "camera version" of the Hydrogen One smartphone with a camera designed by the RED team (instead of the non-shelf components found in the original model.) recently cut the price of Hydrogen One by half to $ 645 in what now looks like a fire sale before canceling the program.

Janard will continue to accuse the unnamed Chinese ODM of Hydrogen One for being "significantly underperformed" on the original phone in July, teasing a new Hydrogen Two model designed "practically from scratch" with a new manufacturing partner. But based on today's announcement, any Hydrogen One receiver the company has had in the works will not market it, at least as part of the Hydrogen brand.

Customers who have acquired the hydrogen will not remain completely in trouble – Janard's post promises that "Hydrogen One will continue to be maintained in the future." Jannard also teased the next RED's Komodo 6K camera, which he says is "about to launch" and will work with Hydrogen One in some way. But it's probably a disappointing end for anyone hoping that RED will be able to remedy some of the failures of the original model in a more refined product later.

Jannard has been the face of RED and its high-end cameras since it founded the company in 1999. According to Jannard, RED Digital Cinema will live under the leadership of Jarred Land (RED's current president), Tommy Rios (RED's executive vice president) and Jamin Janard (President of Marketing and Creativity at RED).


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