HP to show off its 3D-scanning 'Sprout' PC next week

HP is synonymous with mass-market PCs and notebooks, but according to a report from Re/code, HP is trying it proverbial hand at something new. According to the usual slew of unnamed sources, the company (which is currently undergoing some business mitosis) will show off a novel new Windows PC called the Sprout at an event in New York next week. We're not using the word "novel" lightly here, either: the Sprout is comprised of a big flat screen display paired with an expansive surface for touch input and a combination projector/3D scanner that hangs above it.

As you might imagine, that surface is where the magic happens. Sure, you'll be able to interact with images beamed down by the projector, but popping something like a Rubik's Cube onto the surface prompts the overhead scanner to do its thing. Once the cube touches the surface, it gets scanned (it's not clear if you have to start this process manually or not) and integrated into whatever it was you were working on. You'd be forgiven for having a little trouble imagining what the Sprout is like in real life -- we are too -- but at least we won't need to wait long to find out. And the icing on this particularly crazy cake? Re/code's Arik Hesseldahl notes that the first version will run Windows, but subsequent models could run Google's ChromeOS.

[Image credit: Don Diebold/Flickr]