When Hewlett-Packard decided to split in two — one company devoted to PCs and printing, the other to enterprise IT — CEO Meg Whitman said the PC side would explore a "new computing experiences."
Now we know that starts with an HP product called Sprout, created by a group headed by Eric Monsef, a former Apple hardware executive.
The product looks like a visualizer/PC combo: it takes a large flat-screen display — common to its touch-enabled desktop PCs — and adds a flat work surface with 20 point touch. Like a visualizer, there’s an overhead projector— and 3D scanner.
The overhead device projects onto the work surface where users can manipulate images with their hands or via stylus. Or add new elements to the image by scanning directly on the work surface.
There was no inclusion of haptic technology, but it makes sense if Sprout is to fully develop.
Sprout will run Windows, but future versions might opt for Google’s ChromeOS.
Sprout will primarily be sold to businesses, education and prosumers.
While HP might launch Sprout to differentiate itself from the other PC makers who compete mainly on price (except the Mac), HP is tapping into the most important vein of the internet era: we are all becoming content creators instead of just content consumers.
This is the first PC created for content creation. It will feed Facebook and other social networks where users now create in competition for attention of friends and family.
It’s also an opportunity for commercial AV integrators because businesses can use Sprout creating better presentations or to show customers different product choices (to help buying decisions). And education will love it.
Visualizer companies should watch HP closely because their heritage is shared with Sprout. Who knows what convergence or disruption might come from this?
Go HP’s Sprout