Hewlett-Packard first released its rather unorthodox Sprout PC back in late October with a price tag of $1,899. The device featured a 23-inch touch screen display that was topped with an overhead DLP projector which beams content down to a 20-inch, 20-point capacitive touch-sensitive mat. And if that doesn’t sound complex enough, there’s also Intel’s highly capable Real Sense 3D camera and a HP’s high-resolution 14.6MP camera thrown in for good measure.
When this delightful mix of hardware is working in concert, you can use the mat as a touch keyboard, scan in objects and manipulate them on the 23-inch display, and even draw on the mat and see your resulting creation on the display.
However, Sprout’s capabilities are now being extended through the use of the existing Intel Real Sense 3D camera which is now being combined with HP’s proprietary 3D Capture Stage accessory and 3D capture software. The magic happens when an object is placed onto the 3D Capture Stage, which not only serves as a turntable to capture an object from all angles, but also can tilt the object at a 15-degree angle to make sure that every nook and cranny is captured. A full 3D model is then captured using the updated modeling software.
Once the 3D digital scan takes place, the object can “then be further modified, shared, and printed,” says Eric Monsef, a member of HP’s Highly Immersive Systems Group. The digital objects can then be shared with others online via social media and HP has even partnered with Dremel to print captured objects using the Dremel 3D Idea Builder printer. If the $1,000 Dremel printer is simply out of your price range (and it definitely is for most people), HP is also offering ways for you to obtain your creations with various online 3D printing outfits that will ship the final result to your doorstep.
The new 3D scanning software is being provided as a free upgrade to existing Sprout customers that are using the current 3D Snapshot software. However, the 3D Capture Stage accessory will set you back $299 and will be available in July.
As for the Sprout itself, besides the aforementioned 23-inch 1080p display, it features a fourth-generation Intel Core i7-4790S processor, 8GB of RAM (expandable to 16GB), an NVIDIA GeForce GT 754A GPU with 2GB of RAM, and a 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive.