Jim Jannard has made a career out of revolutionizing lenses. His first business was sunglasses brand Oakley, which started out of his car with $300 in 1975. After going public in 1995, it later sold to Luxottica for $2.1 billion. In 2005, he founded RED Digital Camera, which reimagined how to build high-resolution cinema cameras. It has since become a favorite of directors from James Cameron (Avatar) to Ridley Scott (The Martian) to Peter Jackson (The Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit).
Now the University of Southern California dropout is launching his third act, and it may just be his biggest yet. RED released an augmented reality/virtual reality smartphone on Thursday July 6. According to Jannard, the phone can easily transition from traditional 2-dimensional content to holographic media, 3-dimensional content or interactive games — without the need for any glasses or headsets. Called Hydrogen One, the Android OS smartphone is being touted by RED as “the world’s first holographic media machine” due to its “additional features that shatter the mold of conventional thinking.”