Hewlett Packard's New Sprout Aims to Bridge Physical and Digital Worlds

PHOTO: Hewlett Packard’s "Sprout,” is a dual screen desktop computer geared toward innovation and collaboration.Hewlett Packard
Hewlett Packard’s "Sprout,” is a dual screen desktop computer geared toward innovation and collaboration.

Hewlett Packard unveiled a new computer today that is so intuitive you probably already know how to use it.

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Called "Sprout," the dual-screen computer is being billed as a game changer in the desktop market by seamlessly marrying the physical and digital worlds.

The desktop unit looks like a computer -- but where the magic happens is in the "Sprout Illuminator" system, which includes a scanner, depth sensor, high resolution camera and a projector.

The result is dimensional images that are integrated into the digital work space and can easily be shared. Users can create collages, designs and collaborate with friends around the world -- all while using a personal, hands-on approach.

"Sprout is a long-term play at a long-term bet," Brad Short, distinguished technologist at Hewlett Packard and the inventor of Sprout, told ABC News. "It has that 'pour water on the plant and it will grow' spirituality inside the company. It means a lot to us."

Featuring a 23-inch diagonal full HD touch screen and a 20-point touch mat, Sprout is the first product available under Hewlett Packard's "Blended Reality" ecosystem.

Short said the idea for Sprout was born a few years ago when his daughter kept bringing home artwork. They wanted to scan it and share it with family, however a flatbed scanner crushed the projects.

"I was looking for ways to revolutionize the scanning process," Short said. He got to work and created the first prototype of the device, marrying a computer and a small projector.

Five years later, Sprout is making its public debut -- and Short said the possibilities for creation and collaboration are infinite. Potential users include everyone from fashion designers and home decorators to the everyday user wanting a way to stay connected to friends, family and colleagues around the world.

Users can even digitally scrawl on the touch pad making it easy to share notes or even a real-time game of Tic-Tac-Toe.

"It evolved into a way to communicate remotely," Short said. "The idea of using a product and placing things on the desk [touch pad]... that became another really big inventive part of the experience we were trying to achieve."

Sprout is available for pre-orders in the United States beginning today and will be in select retail stores on Nov. 9 for a starting price of $1,899. Hewlett Packard is expected to announce an international roll out plan at a later date.

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