The Multifaceted HP Sprout Immersive Computer

Sprout Immersive Computer

For many computer users, the quest for a computer that does it all and takes the creative process a step further is like Dr. Frankenstein trying to discover the secret of life. From the engineers at HP, by combining parts of an all-in-one desktop computer, interactive display, digitizer tablet, and a 3D scanner, the company has created its own technological Frankenstein’s monster, the Sprout Immersive Computer—but with a good brain. And it looks like fun.

Basically, this is an all-in-one desktop computer with a few very significant bells and whistles. How you use the bells and whistles can be catered to a lot of different users, including graphic designers, interior decorators, and anyone with a flair for visually enhanced project workflows.

The first thing you'll notice about the Sprout is the overhead extension above the display. Known as the Sprout Illuminator, it houses an HP DLP Projector, an HP High-Resolution Camera with up to 14.6-megapixel resolution, and the Intel® RealSense 3D Camera. The Sprout Illuminator uses the HP DLP projector and a four-camera sensory system to capture every dimension of a 2D or 3D object. What does this mean to you? It means you can scan a real-life 2D or 3D object and load it onto the 23" Full HD display screen—as simple as that. You take an object, like an apple, place it on the touch mat, and scan. The Sprout Illuminator now gives you that apple in glorious 3D on your display screen, where it can be manipulated, rotated or moved onto any project. Scanning requires adequate lighting, so HP also added an LED desk lamp in the Sprout Illuminator.

The 23" LED-backlit display features a 16:9 aspect ratio and Full HD 1920 x 1080 native resolution, so you can view high-resolution images and videos without up-scaling or letterboxing. HP also continues the multi-touch theme of the Sprout Immersive Computer by making the display a 10-point touchscreen. This allows you to manipulate the scanned object on the display if you like.

The Touch Mat is located where the keyboard would usually reside—front and center beneath the display at the base of the Sprout Immersive Computer. The Sprout connector between the display and touch mat contains sensors so you can flick the image down from the display to the touch mat. The touch mat is capable of displaying the image via the overhead HP DLP projector, providing you with a dual display setup. That’s right—what you see on the screen is mirrored on the Touch Mat underneath your fingertips. It also supports up to 20-point touch so you can manipulate almost anything on screen with your hands, and features an ultra-resistant top coating for added durability. An Adonit Jot Pro stylus is also included for when you need precision drawing or handwriting. You can sketch a picture, and then pinch, drag, zoom, rotate, and resize your picture with just hand gestures. When it's not in use, you can attach it magnetically to the upper right side of the Sprout Immersive Computer's display.

We recommend that you start the "Getting Started" app when you first boot up the Sprout Immersive Computer to learn the basics of the innovative multi-touch technology. Once you get the hang of it, you can boot up the Sprout Workspace app to start capturing and manipulating 2D and 3D scanned objects. The workspace is user-friendly and provides the tools you need to make your own creations.

The Sprout Immersive Computer seems tailor made for artists, especially those who create a majority of their work on paper. Artists can draw their designs on paper, and then scan with the Sprout Immersive Computer, or they can use the touch mat with the Adonit Jot Pro stylus as a faux paper/pen solution. Either way, it opens up the possibilities for creative thinking beyond what is out there at the consumer level right now.

The Sprout Immersive Computer doesn't just appeal to artists, though. Interior designers can scan photos of their clients' rooms and then edit parts of the room on the Sprout Immersive Computer to show different configurations and color schemes. You can scan different samples of stone, for instance, and then place the stone around a photo of your kitchen to see what a new brick backsplash would look like. You’ll no longer have to depend on using someone else’s kitchen as a model.

Teachers will appreciate the ability to create better presentations to engage their students, interacting with their presentations in ways unseen before, while corporate professionals can produce useful charts and graphs to show projected numbers and growth—all in real time.

If you run your own business, it's nice to show off your products to your customers, especially if you sell products that are worn. Independent jewelry makers can take a screenshot of their clients through Skype, scan the piece of jewelry they want to preview, such as a necklace, and then edit their client's photo so the client is shown wearing the necklace. This gives clients a more detailed preview of how the necklace or other pieces of clothing might look on them.

And while the Sprout Immersive Computer can work well for the professional, home users, hobbyists, and enthusiasts will find the interactive controls of the sprout to be conducive to creative workflows, whether editing photos, making custom invitations or creating memories by adding real-life 3D objects to an album. Does your grandmother have a favorite ring that you would like to give your daughter on her wedding day? Scan it in, and place it on her finger, or use the 3D object to send to a loved one so they can view it. It’s personal, it’s professional, and it’s a new way of creating for the home.

When you're not using the Sprout Immersive Computer yourself, you can also let your children draw and color on the touch mat using their hands. Just make sure they don't use real crayons or finger paint!

While the 3D scanning capabilities are innovative and intuitive, the Sprout Immersive Computer is still a PC at heart, and HP didn't skimp on the specs. The Sprout Immersive Computer has a quad-core 4th-gen Haswell 3.2 GHz Intel® Core™ i7-4790S processor that can be over-clocked up to 4.0 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology. There is also 8GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM and a 1TB solid-state hybrid drive with 8GB of cache. The Sprout Immersive Computer uses integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600 for everyday tasks, but for graphics-intensive apps, the dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT 745A graphics card with 2GB of DDR3 discrete memory starts up. The Sprout Immersive Computer also runs Windows 8.1, which works well with touch navigation. You can also connect to the Internet with a wired 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 LAN connection or go wirelessly with 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. Bluetooth 4.0 technology lets you connect wirelessly to peripherals and accessories in case you need a tactile keyboard or mouse.

The Sprout Immersive Computer from HP is not just another touchscreen all-in-one desktop computer. It is an innovation in multi-touch technology, allowing you to use it in new, useful ways for photo editing, graphic design, and more. If you're in the market for an innovative PC that fully utilizes multi-touch technology to its current potential, the Sprout Immersive Computer from HP may be for you.

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