This product caught my eye the other day - sprout, by HP, is billed as "a revolutionary all-in-one computer and 3D scanner that makes it easy to go from thought to expression in an instant." Basically sprout combines a digital scanner seamlessly with a home PC enabling 3D models of objects to be easily captured. These can then be manipulated as necessary and printed with a 3D printer. The obvious idea behind this product is to make the 3D model capture process family friendly. Good on HP for trying this and it will be interesting to see if sprout is a success. I can see schools liking it and the odd hobbyist but beyond that I'm not so sure. Their product page implies that professional designers might use sprout in their design studios, but I'm sure they would use more professional products. It reminds me of the HP TouchSmart PC that I was asked to review a few years ago. This was intended to be a digital hub for a family, probably sitting in the kitchen - HP's promotional photograph showed a nuclear family having a meal with the TouchSmart sitting on a kitchen bench. However, I've never seen one of these subsequent to my review and can only conclude that TouchSmart didn't catch on and family members now use their personal digital devices (smart phones and tablets) instead. With regard to the sprout I can see hobbyists preferring to use separate, more flexible and powerful digital scanners. So this just leaves schools as sprout's potential market.
from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/