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HP’s Sprout Pro Brings 3D Scanning To The Classroom

The original HP Sprout was a very different kind of all-in-one PC, thanks to an Intel RealSense camera and a built-in illuminator that could take 2D — and later 3D — scans of physical objects. That first model was aimed at enthusiasts and budding entrepreneurs looking to quickly make models and tinker with prototypes, which helped HP build out a nice little software suite designed around the Sprout. The company is now taking those programs and their wonder computer to schools and businesses in the Sprout Pro, an updated version with a few new collaboration features.

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Internally, the HP Sprout Pro is the same as the original outside of upgrades to processing power — a modest jump to a 6th generation Intel Core i7 processor and a pretty significant leap to an NVIDIA GeForce GT 945A (1GB GDDR5) GPU. Because it’s an all-in-one, that GPU is by no means a top-flight desktop processor, so the amount of modeling one can do with the Sprout Pro will be limited. That could put some businesses off, but it should still be plenty powerful enough for the classroom, where simpler demonstrations and projects are the norm.

HP is introducing a few new programs with the Sprout Pro, many of which facilitate scanning. One interesting bit is a plugin for Skype for Business that will allow users to share 2D scans during a video chat. Similarly, the HP External Display Mixer facilitates screen or camera sharing, including feeds from the display, the screen mat, the webcam, or the RealSense camera. For businesses, there’s also a trusted platform module for data security, in case you end up working on a prototype on the Sprout Pro.

It’s a great refresh of a pretty cool machine, but it doesn’t come cheaply at $2,200. That’s probably prohibitive for a lot of classrooms, although with screen sharing, even having just one of these in a classroom could go a long way in giving students more insights into the ins and outs of maker projects. The HP Sprout Pro should be available sometime in February.

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