HP has revealed a new all-in-one computer named Sprout which pushes the everything-you-need-in-one-place envelope to both vertical and horizontal workspaces. Users are able to grab an icon or digital object on the computer's touchscreen display and drag it down to a projected second screen on a touch-enabled pad below for precision tweaking with fingers or a stylus. Overhead scanning technology can digitize physical objects too, which the user can manipulate and move between both display areas.
Sitting above Sprout's 23-inch LED backlit touchscreen HD display is a combined four camera sensor system (which includes Intel's RealSense 3D camera and a 14.6 MP camera), a DLP projector and LED desk lamp known as the Illuminator. This unit points down towards a 20-inch, 20-point capacitive touch mat that has the look of a rather large mouse pad and the HP Workspace platform brings the dual display 3D workspace to life, effectively giving users two touchscreens to work with.
The overhead scanning technology can create 3D-like images of objects placed on the mat, which then appear on the vertical display. These digital clones can be flicked down to the mat onto a work area thrown down from above by the projection unit. The scanned image can be cropped, resized, moved around and otherwise interfered with, text can be added using a virtual keyboard and then the whole shebang returned to the main screen for fine tuning, saving or sending on. Collaborative tools allow operators in multiple locations to simultaneously manipulate the same digital content.
Chugging away behind the impressive-looking blended reality user interface is a high end all-in-one Windows 8.1 PC powered by a 4th gen Intel Core i7-4790S processor with integrated HD4600 graphics and Nvidia GeForce DT 745A GPU (with 2 GB of dedicated video memory). 8 GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM can be expanded to 16 GB, and there's 1 TB of SSD/HDD hybrid storage built in. The AIO also features integrated speakers with DTS Sound+, two digital microphones and a 720p webcam out front.
Connectivity comes in the shape of 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports (including one that's capable of charging mobile devices), HDMI and a mini PCIe expansion slot.
The company has also launched an application store to support the new immersive computing platform called the Sprout Marketplace, which currently includes uniquely-designed Windows-based apps such as the Martha Stewart CraftStudio, DreamWorks Animation Story Producer, Crayola's Draw & Sing and GestureWorks Gameplay as well as HP's own Create, Collaborate and Capture software.
The HP Spout is set for release on November 9, but is up for pre-order now for US$1,900.
You can see potential applications for the technology in the video below, including scanning a real world building block and adding the digitized version to a child's photo, creating a try before you buy remote sales experience by adding virtual trinkets to the image of a customer and making the most of extra screen real estate to produce popping presentations.
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