HP Grows App Portfolio for Sprout Immersive PC

The tech vendor this summer will offer new apps that include animation, stop-action and video capture capabilities.

HP Sprout

Hewlett-Packard this summer will bring new applications to its Sprout immersive computing system that will include stop motion, video capture and real-time measuring capabilities.

The seven new applications, which will be available in the online Sprout Marketplace store, include Crayola Color Alive—which enables users to apply animated effects by using such colors as Fire-Breath and Ice-Blast, and to save characters and use them in 4D environments—and Origami Apprentice, through which customers can learn the art of folding origami models via project instructions on Sprout's mat and animated and verbal instructions on the system's screen.

Mobile5 SizeUp enables users to measure objects in real time by using Sprout's camera—with the measurements projected on the system's Touch Mat—while Mischief for Sprout offers a sketching tool for drawing, whiteboard or artwork and Sprout Stop Motion lets users create stop-motion videos. Using Sprout Stencil, customers can trace, etch or stencil on physical objects using an image or design they create, while Sprout Video Capture enables them to record video content from multiple cameras on Sprout and the live screen content simultaneously.

HP officials also said that the Sprout is being used at the Crayola Experience theme park in Easton, Pa., for a Color Magic attraction.

The tech vendor launched Sprout in October 2014, saying the system was a cornerstone of HP's Blended Reality immersive computing initiative that radically changes the user experience. Sprout integrates such components as a projector, 3D camera, scanner, keyboard and mouse, and a canvas with touch capabilities into a single system. It also includes a 23-inch full-HD touch-screen, and is designed to enable users to merge physical objects into a digital workspace. It's powered by an Intel Core i7 chip, runs Microsoft's Windows 8.1 operating system and HP's Workspace—a software platform designed for the system—and includes 8GB of DDR3 memory.

Earlier this month, HP introduced new 3D technologies that will enable Sprout users to quickly scan 3D images into the system, manipulate and share the images, and then print the images with a connected 3D printer. Included in the list of new features is the 3D Capture Stage, which is a turntable that can be used as a platform for objects that are being scanned.

Sprout is a significant departure from traditional PCs, which have seen worldwide shipments fall since 2011 as more dollars are spent on alternative devices, such as tablets. HP is aiming Sprout at creative professionals and consumers, and is looking to build out its portfolio of applications in hopes of accelerating adoption of the system.

"These new applications continue to expand HP's immersive computing ecosystem," Eric Monsef, vice president of HP's Highly Immersive Systems unit, said in a statement. "Both small and industry-leading app developers are drawn to the platform as it unlocks unique, immersive experiences for both consumers and professionals."

Company officials said there is growing interest from developers, who are aided by the Sprout Emulator and Sprout JavaScript Framework. Sprout Emulator lets developers test applications on non-Sprout Windows PCs, while Sprout JavaScript Framework enables developers to use HTML and JavaScript to create applications for the system.

HP also offers a Sprout software development kit.

Dell is working on a system similar to Sprout. The company last year demonstrated what officials called the "smart desk" concept, which includes multi-touch LCD screens, a digital touch-enabled workspace and a stylus.