HP Makes Push Into 3D Printing and Intros Sprout PC System
Gartner analysts are forecasting a growing market for 3D printers. They said in an Oct. 27 report that 108,151 printers will be sold this year, with 271,350 systems selling in 2015. By 2018, that number will grow to more than 2.3 million, though that is a "small fraction of the total potential market for consumers, businesses and government organizations worldwide," Pete Basiliere, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement. The announcement of Sprout comes several days after reports about the system began surfacing. Sprout is designed to enable users to merge the physical and digital worlds to give them a more immersive experience than they can get with traditional PCs, according to HP officials. It includes two screens—an HD touch-screen and a 20-point capacitive touch mat—and the Sprout Illuminator projection system that can be used to scan real-world physical items in 3D. Users can then integrate those objects into the digital space. HP Workspace is the software platform for Sprout that leverages the two screens, while True Remote Collaboration is an interface that enables people in different locations to work together on the same piece of digital content at the same time. The system is powered by Intel's high-end fourth-generation Core i7 processors, runs Microsoft's Windows 8.1 operating system and offers 1TB of storage. HP also is offering the Sprout Marketplace, an online store for a growing number of apps designed to leverage the platform. Among the Windows-based apps currently in the marketplace are Martha Stewart CraftStudio, DreamWorks Animation Story Producer, Crayola's Draw & Sing and GestureWorks Gameplay. HP's own offerings include Create, Collaborate and Capture, for capturing physical items, manipulating them in a digital environment and sharing their creations.
HP also has a Sprout software development kit. The system can be preordered now, and will be available Nov. 9.