HP Sprout blends 3D scanning with projection-UI all-in-one

HP has revealed the HP Sprout, it's new "creativity station" that pairs a Windows 8.1 PC with a new HP Illuminator system blending a projector, high-resolution camera, and Intel's RealSense 3D tracking for capturing digital versions of physical objects. Similar in appearance to a regular all-in-one PC, though with a large, touch-enabled platform where you'd usually expect the keyboard to be, the Sprout is intended to allow "blending reality" for designers and gamers, with its image and motion capture system taking hand movements and 3D scans and digitizing them on the 23-inch Full HD touchscreen.

Key to it all is the HP Illuminator, the lamp-like section hanging over the top of the screen. It contains a 14.6-megapixel camera and Intel's RealSense 3D Camera, so as to be able to snap images of 3D objects, and a DLP projector for overlaying graphics onto the work area. It also includes an actual lamp.

That work area is in fact a 20-inch, 20-point-multitouch touch-mat with an "ultra-resistant top coating," HP says, onto which objects can be placed for digitization. It also has three touch controls for the keyboard, workspace, and projector.

Inside, there's a 4th-gen Intel Core i7-4790S processor with 8GB of RAM (16GB max), NVIDIA GeForce GT 745A graphics with 2GB of memory, and a 1TB SSD-hybrid drive with 8GB of flash acceleration. There's also a 1-megapixel webcam, two USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports, an SDXC memory card reader, and gigabit ethernet.

WiFi a/b/g/n (dualband) and Bluetooth 4.09 is also included. Adonit's Jot Pro stylus – a version of the company's Jot Touch for iPad – is supported too, and can be stowed magnetically to the side of the Sprout display.

Traditionalists get a wireless keyboard and mouse, too, and an HDMI output for an external display. There are two microphones, four front-firing speakers, and a 10W subwoofer.

To actually make use of all that hardware, there are several different specialist apps that take advantage of the Sprout hardware. StoryProducer DreamWorks Edition, for instance, allows for animated movies to be created and edited, while Crayola Color Draw & Sing has virtual art tools.

It's not all for kids, though. PowerDirector promises a virtual projected interface for video editing, and there are various games and character creators which might appeal to an older crowd.

Martha Stewart even has an app, CraftStudio, to create personalized greetings cards, scrapbooks, and other items.

In short, it's a little like a MakerBot Digitizer got together with a touchscreen all-in-one and the interface from Minority Report.

It's up for sale from today, priced from $1,899.99, and will ship from November 9th.