Jan 29, 2016 | By Andre

HP has always been known as a dominating force in traditional printer manufacturing technology. But they’ve been diversifying their product portfolio heavily in recent years as more companies and people move to a paper-free existence. Included in this new product release strategy is their first in-house entry into the 3D Printing game with its Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printer Technology (available later this year) and also their blended reality VR Sprout computers.

As things stand, most of their systems—specifically the all-in-one 3D Scanning, projection, VR system Sprout systems—run in a Windows environment and require advanced hardware configurations. It now seems that they’re proposing to bring their VR technology to Chromebook based devices via web technologies.

Since, according to VP of education at HP Gus Schmedien, much of HP's blended reality strategy revolves around the idea of making it easier for users to create 3D printable objects, having Chromebook based 3D capture compatible devices available at a very low cost would surely increase the amount of files being 3D printed. I often suggest to anyone asking about 3D printing that the most difficult part when dealing with 3D printing technology comes in the form of file design and layout. So making things easier is almost a necessity when considering expanding the 3D printing market in the days to come.

For a company that is hoping to expand declining grasp on the tech market, this makes perfect sense. The Chrome OS, traditionally run on thin, low-cost Chromebooks that function primarily as a cloud based internet devices, has become incredibly popular since its inception in 2011. In fact, recent reports suggest Chromebooks are in the process of killing the low-end laptop market.

And while they still only account for 2.8% of the PC market today, the number reportedly jumps to 51% in the United States when considering a Kindergarten to Grade 12 setting. This education space happens to be where their recently announced Sprout Pro and their Chromebook 11 G4 Education Edition hope to find their footing. Their VR augmented reality and 3D Printing approach to the Chromebook environment seems to add further emphasis on their blended reality vision.

And considering the low price point of $199 for their Chromebook, HP is hoping to equip as many students with the capability to both acquire outside data via 3D scanning and in turn 3D print what they captured. As thing stand, most VR technology requires high-end Windows based computers equiped with specific hardware, it's yet to be determined how the low-cost Chromebooks (usually without dedicated GPUs) would have the necessary processing power to implement their web based strategy.

How exactly they plan on implementing this typically hardware intensive technology into low-cost Chromebooks is yet to be seen. But it seems a solution is in the works as Gus Schmedien has also hinted that HP will soon communicate more information on what they have planned so keep your ears peeled. Also, even if the hardware on a Chromebook level might not be available today, it won't be long before a $200 Chromebook will perform at the same capabilities to that of what you'd find in a $2,000 desktop system today.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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