At first glance, the new HP Sprout PC didn’t really catch my eye, until I say a this new feature HP is including in its latest high end PC. As stated in this article on TechTimes:
Key to Sprout’s game-changing new computer is the combination of an Illuminator equipped with a 14-megapixel camera and an array of sensors equipped with Intel’s RealSense 3D tracking technology and a 20-inch flexible Touch Mat that works as a capacitive, multi-touch projecting screen with 20 touch points….HP is making a big leap into blending the physical and digital into what it calls “blended reality” by allowing users to place real, physical objects, such as a ball, a mug or anything that could fit into the mat, and have them transferred into the screen.
While I am sure the technology here is pretty immature, it seems like in the near future this could really transform 3D printing. Much of the effort to get something 3D printed is to get a CAD drawing of a 3 dimensional object that a computer can then use to render an object on a 3D printer. Once this technology matures, if you seen some part or component replaced, all you would have to do it have it 3D scanned and sent to a fabricator. Over the last few years, I had been thinking that if I was in college today, I would take CAD classes just to ensure I had a job once I left college – as the demand for CAD would have to be growing with the rise in 3D printing. Now, maybe CAD will be going the way of punch cards.
Maybe this has applications in the gaming space also. What better way to personalize your virtual world than to scan in personal objects or include with your avatar items from the physical world.
All this for a PC that costs $1899 for the first version. It will be interesting to see where this technology leads, as how quickly it gains widespread adoption as the price of the technology falls.