Sprout by HP

Computer interaction moves back to the drawing board


Human to computer interaction is ever-changing with an ironic (though welcomed) evolution to more natural interfaces. Sprout by HP, the latest case-in-point, has just been officially unveiled. Sprout is a touch-screen Windows PC that has a touch-sensitive mat and projection surface where you’d expect to see a keyboard. The technology packed into Sprout is significant, but the resulting interface is simple. The relationship between the mat and the screen is akin to that of a sketchbook and a cork board. You can drag objects between the two screens and manipulate them effortlessly, and even collaboratively, to create or collage.


The hood that extends over Sprout’s upright screen is called the Illuminator and includes a scanner, depth sensor, camera and projector. Beyond simply projecting a second screen on to the mat, users can photograph objects and make 3D scans. HP calls this ecosystem Blended Reality and has developed their own suite of applications to leverage it. Other app developers—ranging from Dreamworks to Martha Stewart—have already created tools tailored to this interaction model.

For times when you want to use a keyboard, simply pull out the mat and use one. When you’re ready to go back in to full Sprout mode, the mat snaps in place with a satisfying magnetic thunk.

CH fave Joshua Davis has been using Sprout for a while and shows us its power. Sprout is available for pre-order today and hits shelves 9 November. It retails for $1,899 and we can’t wait to see how people end up using it.

Images courtesy of HP