Reality Not Required

Hands down, my most admired designer is Jim Jannard. The founder of Oakley (sunglasses) and RED (cameras), he doesn’t do TED talks or wastes time on the speaking circuit. Because he is heads down working (when not on one of his private Fiji islands, of course) on disrupting things. His product design is in your face, and his marketing style is an even greater degree of retina pounding glee.

Last week, he pre-sold over 60,000 concept phones at over $1500 a piece. With no delivery until next year. This guy doesn’t need Kickstarter to build a rabid audience. His fans are already there, credit cards in hand, to spend 3x more on a phone of the future that doesn’t exist yet. A phone that makes the upcoming iPhone 8 look like a late 90’s BlackBerry. Your move, Tim Cook. You have to check this out, the Hydrogen One. In fact, don’t even call it a phone. It is a Holographic Media Machine. Yes, that is right. It eats your text messages and social media for breakfast. You thought you were glued to a screen now because of Facebook’s personality affirming “like” notifications. In 2018, your eyes will be glued to something altogether so fascinating, we don’t even know what it is. Yes, it does virtual reality. And augmented reality. And mixed reality. In fact, users won’t even know whether their reality is up, down, swiping left, or if emojis are hiding in their closet. The Hydrogen One will turn middle-aged adults into bumbling screen-staring dolts without the need for Pokemon Go. All joking aside, this thing sounds amazing, and if there is one thing Jim Jannard is great at, is delivering on a promise. He changed the film industry with RED, and will no doubt shatter your mobile phone experience (and your credit card) with the Hydrogen One. So what are you waiting for? Order the thing already, before you risk losing your grasp on reality.

—James Rice, Digital Experience