HP announces Sprout—a truly innovative workstation

HP Sprout

Hewlett-Packard Co has announced the development of a new kind of computer workstation—one that combines the power of a desktop computer with 3D scanning and projection—and adds a second display surface that is actually a touchpad. The workstation, called the Sprout will go on sale next week for $1,899.

The Sprout is something new, and because of that, its uses will most likely become apparent over time—and it takes some explaining to understand. The workstation has several parts, the main one is a computer (with 1tb of storage) running Windows 8, hidden behind its 23 inch display screen, another is a the size of a display screen, and yet another is an overhead 3 camera-scanner/projector. A mouse can be connected as well though it would seem moot—same with a keyboard as the system can display a virtual one on the touchpad. The point of the system is to combine elements in the real world with virtual objects, to create something new—something that might wind up represented as a real-world physical object printed by the new 3D printer that HP has also recently announced. HP calls it a Blended Reality ecosystem.

To understand the Sprout, requires an example. Say for instance, you want to create a new paper airplane design—a good way to start with the Sprout would be to make a paper airplane the old-fashioned way and then place it on the touch pad, where the scanner can grab a 3D rendering of it. That 3D rendering can then be viewed on either the computer , or projected down onto the touchpad. It can be manipulated on either with the fingers, turning it around, for example, to get different views. Then, the touchpad can be used as a design-board (using a stylus or fingers) to adjust some of the plane's physical attributes, to come up with a new design. Once satisfied, the plane could conceivably be printed using HP's new 3D printer, (though it won't be made of paper).

Like all innovative ideas, no one really knows how people may use the Sprout—as a , a design workstation, a gaming console or something else completely. Its future will likely also depend very heavily on whether customers find uses for it relatively quickly—if not, HP could pull the plug on the whole idea and write it off as a bit of whimsy.


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Oct 31, 2014
running Windows 8


http://www.youtub...ehlr1tEw

Oct 31, 2014
same with a keyboard as the system can display a virtual one on the touchpad.

I dunno. A WORKstation seems to be for...work. Has anyone ever tried to put in a workday typing on a touchpad? Not with any kind of enjoyment.

Like all innovative ideas, no one really knows how people may use the Sprout

Putting out a product without a clearly defined market (or identified need) is risky - to put it mildly.

Oct 31, 2014
running Windows 8
So what http://www.freeos.com/

Oct 31, 2014
running Windows 8
So what http://www.freeos.com/


Sadly, half of the hardware wouldn't work, and you wouldn't have any software to work them with anyhow. There doesn't seem to be a good CAD/CAM suite for Linux that isn't in perpetual beta, or lacking in major functionality.


Oct 31, 2014
Or you could, you know, just revert Windows 8's UI back to 7's for the time being with any one of a myriaid of free programs; nothing wrong with Windows 8 under the hood.

Oct 31, 2014
Or you could, you know, just revert Windows 8's UI back to 7's for the time being with any one of a myriaid of free programs; nothing wrong with Windows 8 under the hood.


Except the gimped WLAN and other features they've taken out.

http://en.wikiped...indows_8


Oct 31, 2014
Let's see if HP has built a computer that will run cool enough to stay soldered together. Having had 3 HP's in a row that ran so hot the video processors came off from the MB's, I'm no longer inclined to buy or recommend ANY HP products any more. They were once THE hardware to buy for the money, but severely lost their luster when they knew they had problems and refused to fix bad designs.
The 3D scanner isn't new, but it is a new idea at this price point and with the addition of the tablet as a changeable background.
The proof for the "new and improved" HP will be IF they can keep them working.
We will see!

Nov 01, 2014

I dunno. A WORKstation seems to be for...work. Has anyone ever tried to put in a workday typing on a touchpad? Not with any kind of enjoyment.


My thought too. Nice for drawing and maybe handwriting short stuff, but the reason why we have mechanical keys is speed. I would hate that thing.

Nov 01, 2014
No keyboard (as others have pointed out, a projected keyboard is not a keyboard) and no mouse probably earns a gold star from the Windows 8 conformance committee. If, like most users, you only use your device to receive entertainment, that works.

For the smaller class of users that use their computing equipment otherwise, it provides no way to efficiently move information from your mind into the computer, a point which Microsoft tries hard to ignore. Prosaic as they might be, there's not yet anything close to a substitute for a keyboard and mouse.

Nov 01, 2014
You can add a keyboard and mouse, not a big deal if you want them. Good keyboard and mouse for under a $100, no big deal! The bigger issues of hardware/software working together, unlike what most of HP's recent PC's have been able to do reliably, for the last few years.

Nov 01, 2014
Accomplished amateur music keyboard musicians - that handle classical as well as improvisation - are a dime a dozen. I belong to that genre.

With all those musicians in mind and the risk of being flamed out of existence from them I welcome musical touch screen virtual keyboards.

I enjoy listening to the sounds from touching a keyboard, real or virtual.

Wait...this is about other keyboards as well.
I welcome the touch screen version for those too.
Nice knowing you all before I'm flamed out of existence.
Someone side with me. I am the staunch and diehard defender of pencils.

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