Jan 19, 2016 | By Andre

HP has just announced the Sprout Pro, an updated version of the computer platform released in 2014 that will now focus on the educational and enterprise sectors. Originally designed for consumer use, Sprout is a computer that incorporates a projector, 3D scanner, touch-screen and 3D camera into one desktop device. It has been promoted as an early release member of their Blended Reality System (which will include their yet-to-be released Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology).

From the beginning, it was touted as a device that changes the way users interact with a computer. For example, you can place a coffee mug onto the horizontal 3D scanning mat in front of the screen and instantly 3D scan it into the computer; that or use the same mat as a virtually projected keyboard or even interact with the monitor “in thin air” with a stylus-like pointer and 3D glasses. It seems the push to move away from the physical keyboard and mouse as primary input tools was a major driving force to the while in its conception stages.

Early reviews of the consumer version of the Sprout showed promise and a sense of general excitement but was still said to need some tweaking before it made it into the mainstream. And while no sales figures were ever released, HP suggests that it met sales expectations and that’s a big part of the reason they’re expanding on the platform in hopes that it “reinvents the way teachers and students learn, create, collaborate and share.”

Louis Kim, global head and general manager of Immersive Computer at HP suggests that "Sprout Pro adds tools for creative professionals, students and instructors to the ground breaking Sprout platform. Instant 2D/3D scanning, augmented reality and an immersive dual screen is now boosted by pro-class applications and security -- accelerating workflows and safeguarding data. Sprout Pro is another milestone in expanding HP's vision of Blended Reality.”

While it seems like a pilot program is being rolled out at first (the Sprout Pro is being tested in 60 leading schools), as things stand, a wider release is expected some time next month. Then, from a corporate perspective, healthcare, retail and manufacturing sectors have shown great interest in the Pro version. Additionally, big brands like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Nvidia are said to be working on ways to incorporate their own technologies and services into the Sprout Pro platform.

For me, the educational approach is one of the most exciting aspects of HP’s release Sprout Pro announcement. As someone that has worked with students in workshops from a design to 3D print output perspective, the interactive nature and blending of real and virtual worlds always keeps students curious and excited.

HP mirrors these sentiments by suggesting that with Sprout Pro, "students get a hands-on learning experience so they can take ideas from thought to expression like never before.” Also, Sprout can help change what has always been a “one-size-fits-all curriculum.” The idea is that cloud-based assessment systems can support adaptive learning, so the curriculum can change based on what individual students know.

From a technical perspective, the Sprout Pro includes a 23.6-inch Zyr monitor, Intel’s latest Corei7 processor, a Nvidia GeForce GT 945A graphics set, 1 TB of storage, 8GB (upgradable to 16GM) ram, 2 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and Ethernet ports and is Wifi/Bluetooth enabled.

The price for the full-featured computer is listed at $2,199, and while that’s not completely on the inexpensive side, it does make sense in a classroom setting where many students will have access to it. Also, some of the software that is already being incorporated into the system such as Autodesk’s Tinkercad and Meshmixer, Sculpt+ and Microsoft’s 3D Builder plays further credence to Sprout being part HP’s Blended Reality System family with available 3D printing technology as a nicely suited sidekick technology from an output perspective.



Posted in 3D Scanning



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All Things 3D wrote at 1/21/2016 1:00:23 AM:

Great article and even though HP Sprout is very nifty. I think it has been an uphill sell for them. With education budgets non-existent, this is still too pricey for many classrooms. I $999 system would have been much better price point. From a CAD station perspective, there it maybe too little without CAD ready specs, The art/graphics world is in love with their Macs so I don't see making inroads there either. Enterprise? Unless this is pushed through contract channels, I don't see how this will work in a business office that some of the lesser priced all-in-ones with a Intel Realsense FR300 built in can do most of what this will do. Sadly, it will probably die a quiet death.

ThatGuy wrote at 1/20/2016 3:29:25 PM:

Is this just a software tweak? I don't see where the specs of the scanner have changed. Actually I don't see specs for anything. Everything ships with W10 now, so what?

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