“Blended Reality” Is the Next Big Thing in Tech and HP Is Ready
Hp has launched Sprout,a new type of device that combines a computer, projector, and scanner into one machine. It replaces the keyboard and mouse with a 20-point, 20-inch projected touchpad (which HP calls a touch mat). The all-in-one PC which even looks futuristic, has a modern Core i7 CPU with 1 TB of storage, a NVIDIA GeForce GT 745A graphics, 8GB of RAM, a 23-inch touchscreen, and Windows 8.1. The large 20-inch touchpad supports 20-point multi-touch (so more than one person can use it at once). Visor-like appendage sprouts out the top of the Sprout, which HP calls the HP Illuminator. Within, there are three different systems: an Intel RealSense 3D camera (which is a lot like Kinect), a 14.6-megapixel camera, and an HP DLP projector – this little guy beams down different images onto the mat such as a keyboard or launches Sprout-specific applications (which require a separate SDK). Also an LED desk lamp in there. The touchpad is made of a special material that is invisible/transparent to the cameras. The touchmat can summon a digital keyboard and also moonlight as a digital canvas with a variety of different applications. The mat itself magnetically connects to the base and has three capacitive buttons to summon the keyboard, launch the applications window, or turn off the mat’s capacitive touch. You can also use the Sprout as a traditional PC, by removing the mat with just a tug. The coolest trick that you can do with it is to scan objects and manipulate them in 2D or 3D with its 3D scanner, allowing you to easily “upload” objects into the Sprout just by placing them on the mat. HP says, “the Sprout is the first product in a new “Blended Reality” lineup that’s meant to re-envision the interface between real and virtual, analog and digital”.