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.
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.
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.
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.
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.