According to HP, what the world needs now is a touch-sensitive mat onto which are projected little 3D interface objects coupled with a touchscreen monitor. In fact, what the world precisely needs is Sprout.
This $1,899 computer is the latest in HP’s efforts to remain relevant. Created as a sort of multi-media workstation a la the original Surface table, the computer has a built-in projector and scanner that can also work with a keyboard and mouse. You can use your hands to move objects around on the touchscreen and to create art, modify scanned objects, and generally get creative with your hot HP hardware.
You could find out more at Sprout.com if the site were live.
HP is treating this more like a boutique item and not selling it nationwide just yet. I, for one, would be very interested in seeing it work and I’d especially like to see a designer or artist use it. I worry, however, that this will be another clever touchscreen project marred by slow adoption and the tendency for giants like HP to pull the plug on cool projects when they fail to become popular.
Remember also that it’s nearly CES time and this – as well as HP’s massive new “Multi-Jet” 3D printer – will probably be tentpoles in the circus/Hunger Games of me-too PCs and boring tablets we’ll find there.