On October 29, 2014, I was invited to HP’s launch event in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood to witness the groundbreaking unveiling of HP’s two newest products: Sprout and 3D printing with Multi Jet Fusion technology. On the surface, the event looked much like one might expect: a sea of black and navy sports coats; a swarm of video cameras, photographers, and tech writers/bloggers/reporters waiting in the wings; and an impeccably orchestrated afternoon–from the scrumptious catering to the revolving displays to the venue’s dramatic lighting.
Yet, something was different… First, the utilitarian open-ceiling flex space hosting the event was nestled in the Chelsea neighborhood amidst streets lined with art galleries and cafes, beneath the High Line.Closer inspection of the attendees revealed that the sea of blue and black sports coats was peppered with another ilk—the so-called Creators, including myself (wearing a white jacket), who were there to witness the unveiling of the HP’s groundbreaking new invention: Sprout.
Sprout is the newest product by HP that, for the first time ever, blends the physical and digital in the same space–integrating a scanner, touch canvas, keyboard, mouse, 3D camera, and projector—all in one device. As Executive VP, Dion Wiesler, prefaced from on stage before unveiling the new computer: Sprout was created out of a need to have a “better on ramp into the 3D world.” Bloggers and creatives especially have an acute awareness of this need: we have to be well-versed not only in the craft/product we are creating (whether it’s a card, scrapbook, website, product, or publication/advertisement), but also in the tools necessary to execute our vision, usually photography, Photoshop, and Lightroom at a minimum. Sprout bypasses all of this and allows the artist to focus on the act of creation without requiring all these separate modalities to achieve the final expression.Ron Couglin, Sr VP and General Manager of HP, who spearheaded Sprout’s development, emphasized that Sprout allows users to easily and seamlessly bring things from the physical world into the digital world, “from thought to expression in an instant.” HP worked with and received input from various Creators throughout Sprout’s development process, including Martha Stewart and her team. And the Creators also got a chance to test the technology before HP released it to the public (I’ll be sharing what I made at the Martha Stewart offices in my next post!). The Creators included myself, the Martha Stewart team, artists, graphic designers, and bloggers, who were not only flattered to have been involved in the collaboration process, but, like myself, could not wait to get our hands on the machine for our day-to-day creative endeavors once it is released for sale.(Pictured with me from the right is Ron Coughlin, Sr VP and General Manager of HP and fellow creators Diane Henkler and Linda Facci)(Todd Selby, photographer, illustrator, artist) Perhaps the most telling feature of the afternoon that, indeed, something exciting and different was afoot could be observed at the Sprout display stations. There were paint and watercolors, 3D objects, craft papers and cut-outs, pinned (real) butterflies, homemade cards and …. the visible and tangible act of creation in a way that has never been demonstrated before.Erin Furey, Associate Crafts Editor at Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings, was on hand the day of the launch to demonstrate the capabilities of Sprout, and display some of her designs using the new computer. She also designed the event invitation that was sent out for the HP launch, which I thought was spectacular when I received it.(Erin Furey, Associate Crafts Editor at Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings) “From thought to expression…in an instant.” This is the promise of Sprout. And, with that as a promise, it’s not a far stretch that HP’s tagline is “Reimagine what you can do” and “Be as free as your imagination.” Love. These. Here are a few examples of what Sprout can create/achieve, from trying on items before you buy them, to kids’ art projects, real time collaboration, interior decorating capabilities, and even simplifying the process of selling goods online by streamlining the scanning/photographing/uploading/and resizing process:
Sprout was designed to facilitate a better experience for people who create and to do it intuitively–without the user having to learn or retrain on any other machine, equipment, program, or application. It boasts the democratization of creativity with, by the way, a full high-end desktop at the same time. This new technology is covered by an impressive 71 patents.
Sprout will be offered for sale beginning November 9, 2014 and available in 50 stores throughout the holidays. Don’t be ashamed to forward this post to that treasured gift buyer in your life…I love you my darling! Thanks so much for joining me for Unveiling of HP’s 2 Newest Products: Sprout and 3D Printing (Part I).
Find out more: #sproutbyhp.
Thank you to HP for graciously sponsoring this post.