When RED announced it would be making a smartphone back in 2017 we were excited to see what a smartphone from a professional camera maker would look like.

RED promised its first smartphone would a holographic display and modular attachments similar to those see on RED’s cameras.

Sadly, the display left much to the imagination and the attachments never saw the light of day. This being RED’s first outing in the smartphone market we were hopeful things would improve but they won’t.

This is because RED founder Jim Jannard has announced he will be retiring due to health issues.

“I have spent the past 45 years building ‘inventions wrapped in art’,” Jannard wrote.

“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,” Jannard added.

RED will continue to provide support for the Hydrogen One but the plans to launch a follow up to that handset are now seemingly dead in the water.

To speak frankly, Hydrogen wasn’t a very good smartphone and its various production delays meant the hardware it used was outdated by the time it hit the market.

It’s a pity we won’t get to see RED’s second attempt under Jannard’s leadership but perhaps the camera maker will try its hand at making a smartphone again? We’re hopeful.

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.