LAS VEGAS, NV (Autodesk University 2014) - I had a chance to have a hands-on demonstration of the HP Sprout all-in-one desktop computer. The key differentiator for this product is the expansion of the human interface with a touch-sensitive mat that docks into the base of the computer with a magnetic connection. In addition to the HP Touch Mat, the Sprout also sports a high-definition HP DLP projector paired with a high-resolution camera. This combination opens a very unique design feature of the Sprout. Where most modern computers have integrated cameras, the Sprout has an integrated 2D and 3D scanner.
When the user places an object on the Touch Mat and activates the custom software, the Sprout projects a custom series of light patterns and records the results with the camera. The Sprout then analyzes the resulting images and extrapolates a 3D image. In addition to its 3D capabilities, the Sprout is capable of 2D scanning, multi-touch interface control via the Touch Mat, and a stylus.
The base specs of the unit include an i7-4790S processor, NVDIA GeForce GT 745A graphics, a 23” multi-touch capacitive screen, and 8 GB of RAM. The combined projector and camera create a paradigm shift in the user interface promoting touch in a way that has, to date, eluded most computer designers. The projected interface on the Touch Mat accommodates Microsoft “Modern” UI and programs that take advantage of the Sprout’s SDK. When I went to see the Sprout I had already heard of the product and, frankly, had a negative, pre-conceived notion of the device. After meeting with Brad Short, the inventor and HP technologist, it was not very long before I realized how wrong I was. If HP can push this technology to a V2 or V3 release, and possibly expand the format into a portable model, then this is a design that has the ability to affect the desktop world in much the same way that the iPad affected the portable computing world.
At $1,900, I am in desperate want of one.
Nominated for TenLinks Autodesk 2014 Best of Show by:
|Curt Moreno is a CAD coordinator for a civil engineering firm and the owner and editor of the Kung Fu Drafter blog. He uses AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Map 3D and SketchBook Designer and is a featured Autodesk University speaker. More…|