HP’s Sprout is an exciting step for the future of the desktop PC and presents an opportunity for app-savvy developers, Techworld finds.
Sprout is blend of all the hardware Hewlett-Packard is renowned for. It’s a well thought-out workstation that will assist anyone who frequently uses a double monitor, projectors or scanners in their daily work routine.
The workstation allows users to scan objects instantaneously to edit on screen, collaborate with remote users and create prototypes for 3D printing.
While many have signalled the end of the desktop PC, Sprout hints at the next generation of desktop computing. HP has made the most of the hardware consumers are used to buying and using separately – scanners, projectors and cameras - and combines them with an intuitive Windows 8.1 OS and interactive touchpad, eliminating the need for a keyboard.
An HP ‘Illuminator’ sits atop the monitor, combining a projector, high resolution 3D camera and an LED desk lamp.
The Illuminator projects onto the HP touch Mat, a 20-point touchpad that means more than one person can work on a design, piece of video or music composition (yes, there’s a piano feature) at the same time.
You simply place an object on the mat and it appears onscreen in 3D, ready to be edited for texture, colour and to add on extra pieces before sending to a 3D printer.
The PC comes with a high resolution camera that means conference calling is crystal clear if you are collaborating with a client, students or friends.
Several artists have pledged allegiance to Sprout already, namely David White, set designer for the likes of Louis Vuitton and Vivienne Westwood and Julian from Graffiti Kings (pictured), whose spray cans illustrated the London Olympics opening ceremony back in 2012.
The only thing holding Sprout back is its applications. The hardware will reduce time artists spend looking for royalty-free images, sending proofs back and forth to clients and will assist designers at manufacturing plants in the early prototype stage.
The editing suite is not quite sophisticated enough to rival any CAD or design software on the market.
Once Adobe gets on board, and there are rumours that HP is in talks with the design software giant, this technology will really take off.
Before large software vendors claim their stakes on Sprout, indeed if they do at all, it is worth developers checking out the API kit and thinking up useful applications for the touch-pad, duo screen workstation.
Its immaturity presents an amazing opportunity for entrepreneurs and developers keen to create an app that utilises Sprout’s combined scanning and touch-screen features.
Currently HP has a DJ booth, a piano simulation and basic film editing to offer as standard, but the app market place is open to anyone, and could be a good place to get creative.