Microsoft has been experimenting with projectors for years, but HP is bringing a PC to life today complete with a built-in projector and multi-touch capacitive touch mat. Sprout is HP’s latest PC design, and it ditches the mouse and keyboard in favor of a system that is built purely for touch interactions. There’s a traditional 23-inch touchscreen display, but at the base of Sprout is an interactive touch mat that you use to control projected objects and applications.
The projector itself hangs over the top of the all-in-one like a desk lamp and it’s equipped with a 4-camera system thanks to Intel’s RealSense 3D camera, a 14.6-megapixel high-resolution camera, a HP DLP projector, and an LED desk lamp. The system will let people scan and manipulate 2D and 3D objects directly into the PC, and you can even use a stylus to draw on the touch mat and move scanned objects around. You can type onto the mat with a software keyboard projected on your fingers within touch-optimized apps, and the majority of interactivity starts with the mat. HP has created a number of apps for Sprout, and it appears the system supports gestures and the ability to manipulate multiple layers within apps. Behind the scenes it’s all powered by Windows, 1TB of storage, and an Intel i7 processor, so it’s a regular powerful PC.
Sprout adapts its projections on the touch mat based on the app from anything like manipulating photography to playing on projected piano keys. HP invited a number of creatives on stage today during its device announcement, showcasing different ways to use the rather unique PC. It's clear Sprout is aimed directly at the creative industry, just weeks after Microsoft and Adobe teamed up to make Photoshop a lot more touch friendly. HP has worked closely with Microsoft, 3M, Intel, and Texas Instrument for various components of the system, and the PC maker has obviously invested a great amount of time in Sprout. HP is launching its Sprout PC on November 9th for $1,899.99, and the system will be demonstrated at select Best Buy and Microsoft Stores this weekend.