Monthly Archives: November 2014

HP Sprout, an all in one design studio that can create basically anything.

The HP sprout is an innovative new product from HP that combines 3D scanning, Projecting, and computing all into one compact package that can fit on anyone’s desk.  Shaped like an apple iMac with a shower head coming out of the top, the HP Sprout is aesthetically pleasing while still maintaining great functionality.

 

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It sports an integrated 1000 lumen LED projector that reflects off of a mirror located in the object sticking off the top of the sprout and creates an image on the pad that sits in front of it.  This unit also contains stereoscopic cameras that can view and scan an object into a 3D model by setting them on the mat and rotating the object so the sprout can see all sides of it.

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The sprout is a powerful machine under the hood, sporting 8GB of DDR3 RAM running at 1600 mhz, an Intel i7 -4790s running at 3.2 GHz, and dual graphics cards (Intel HD 4600 and Nvidia Geforce 745A), the sprout seems almost more like a computer made for gaming than it was for design.  Not that this is a bad thing, specs like this basically guarantee that any 3D modeling or designing that you are doing with the sprout is going to happen smoothly and at a decent frame-rate/speed.  Unlike the Apple iMac the computer portion of the sprout is not located in the screen, instead it is located in a square casing that hangs off the back of the sprout, and although it’s not confirmed yet we think this is a good indication that the sprout will be expandable to a certain extent.  Although processor upgrades and graphics cards may be integrated to the main board upgrades such as Hard Drive Storage and RAM seem to be totally free game.

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For some people, having all of this technology integrated into one device may seem excessive however we feel that it’s a great integration of 3 useful technologies to make one solid product. There are loads of things that you could use the sprout for from designing a paper cup for a business all the way to re-manufacturing car parts.  The only thing we think that could make the sprout better would be to add a 3D printer, although this isn’t practical to do on a unit it’s size, having a external 3D printer would definitely expand the capabilities.  This about the cup example, you want to create a new cardboard cup for your coffee shop.  You go online and download a 3D model of a cup, you then 3D print the model and put the model on the mat in front of the sprout and project your design directly onto the cup so you can see how it will look before you even manufacture the cup.  Once you’re happy with the design print out the finished product and you have a full prototype that is ready for production in a matter of hours instead of days.  The same would apply to a car part or something that you don’t have a 3D model of, simply place it on the mat under the integrated 3D scanner and let the sprout see every side of it.  It  will then create a 3D model for you of the object and allow you to modify or print it out.

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These are two basic examples of the possibilities that the sprout has to offer, there are many many more possibilites that a device like this could offer especially with someone creative in front of it.  It still does come in at a fairly high price tag of $1,800 but this price is likely to go down over time and with new models that come out.  The sprout hasn’t had a great reception but we hope that it gets enough buyers to warrant making a new model, we haven’t seen anything this innovative in the computer industry in a very long time and are exited to see the uses that people put the sprout up to.

Keecker, the worlds first “Homepod” (And possibly the last)

We get most if not all of our projector news from people that we follow on twitter and recently we came across something very interesting.

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This is Keecker, noted as being the worlds first “Homepod”.  We had never heard of a “Homepod” before and were intrigued, what we found was definitely surprising, but we’re just not sure HOW useful it will be.  Keecker is shaped like an egg, it’s fairly large (About 2 feet tall and 3 feet around), and has wheels on the bottom that allow it to move.  It sports a 1000 lumen LED projector, 3D surround sound, a high res camera, a 1TB storage drive, air quality sensors, WIFI, and runs Android 4.3.  It can move around on it’s own similar to a Roomba and can drive to any room in your home via a command from your smart phone (given that it’s on the same floor), it also has a charging station that it can drive to to charge it’s self.

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Keecker has a unique motor that can control the angle of the projection that it emits,  this allows it to project anywhere from low parts of the wall up to the ceiling.  It can project as close as 2 feet and automatically adjusts it’s keystone and its focus.

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With all of it’s built in sensors and camera it is also a good home automation/security device.  Although it has not been confirmed yet, there are apps available to android that allow for motion detection from cameras and also to communicate with a nest and change temperature etc.  Apps like this could automatically automate your home and control things like your thermostat, lighting, and even watch out for home invasion.

 

The Keecker definitely has a lot of functions and can be a useful device in certain situations, but now for the bad stuff.

 

Even though it is literally the most mobile projector in the world, its still very immobile in many senses.  It’s slow moving and must use sensors to look for walls and other obstacles, this can create a fairly long travel time to where you need to use it.  Also for any building that has a set of stairs, the unit will need to be physically picked up and moved up or down the stairs.  The unit clocks in at 25 lbs and can’t really be considered light, for some people this could actually be a problem especially if they would like to use it in an upstairs meeting room or perhaps in an upstairs bathroom.  Right now the most mobility the unit has is to dodge people and objects in it’s way while it’s travelling around.

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As cool as it seems, the Keecker just really feels like too much technology crammed into one thing and many of those things seem like afterthoughts if anything.  A mobile projector was the original goal of the Keecker and its original prototype was very true to this, basically a motorized scooter with a projector strapped to it.  Over time more and more technology was added to the unit that brought it to where it is today, a giant egg shaped robot that drives around your house to deliver entertainment to anyone in it’s way.  Cool? Yes.  Functional? Maybe not.

Another big factor that we’re considering is the price, although not yet released based off the Kickstarter reward pricing we’re guessing it’s somewhere between $2,000 and $2,500 which we unanimously decided was just too much to pay for a roomba projector.  But either way, it’s definitely blog worthy, and if a giant egg projector robot is something that you think your business or home could benefit from, check out their kickstarter page and even consider donating to the cause!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/keecker/keecker-the-worlds-first-homepod

In our next blog we’re going to be covering the new HP Sprout, the worlds first projector/3d scanner/computer all integrated into one!