HP has just announced its new sensor-laden Sprout computing platform is available to buy in the UK.
Honestly, it’s a bit of an oddball – Sprout combines a normal desktop computer with a touchpad, scanner, depth sensor, hi-res camera, and a projector.
Why? Because Sprout offers a dual screen – in horizontal and vertical format – that will let you blend physical items with the digital world.
Watch our HP Sprout hands-on video
That sounds like a load of techno-faff, but it’s actually a genius combination of sensors that really broadens the horizons of what you can do with a desktop PC.
Place an object on the touchpad, for instance, and the computer will use the depth sensor and the camera to map the object on your display. You can then use this 3D-rendered object in a digital workspace.
You can also use Sprout to play piano. The projector can beam faux-keys onto the touchpad, which you can then tap away at. The touchpad and camera work in unison to track your ivory-tinkling, while the display shows off sheet music to spur on your tech-fuelled melody.
Related: Best Desktop PC
If you can look past the ridiculous name, HP have actually come up with a very innovative and useful bit of tech.
For starters, music tutors would potentially be able to offer remote lessons to students with the piano software.
Creative types who often work with 3D models would also find plenty of use in being able to quickly and easily map any real world object and upload it directly into their software suite.
Sprout’s dedicated marketplace currently includes a host of Windows-based apps designed for the system.
Examples include Crayola DJ, Fuse for Families, Virtual DJ, DreamWorks Animation Story Producer, Crayola’s Draw and Sing, GestureWorks Gameplay, and HP’s own first-party physical object capture software.
There’s also a software development kit available from the Sprout website, which means anyone can get involved with creating software for the device.
Sprout is available to buy from HP’s online store right now, pricing at £1899. It will also go on sale in Dixons and John Lewis from the 26th of February.