For the last few weeks we’ve been experiencing some of the latest technology on the market, having been loaned an HP Sprout – the all-in-one PC, camera/3D scanner and touch sensitive pad.
Last time I talked about Sprout, we had only just received the kit. Since then, we have been getting to grips with its capabilities and today I can share some of the ways we have been using and enjoying this innovative machine.
As I had anticipated, our children picked everything up in record time.
For them, technology is never scary, but something to be embraced and any obstacle figured out. But touch screen technology is very normal for them and before long, they were giving me tips and advice, even though I was the one who’d been given an overview by an HP trainer! But that’s the beauty of Sprout, actually – the system has been designed to be very intuitive and user-friendly. It isn’t difficult to grasp and everything I’m used to doing on my own PC is more or less the same, with Sprout’s added features just a natural progression and enhancement of that.
Our sons have found it very useful for homework when researching subjects; for example our youngest has been learning about Ancient Egypt and was able to use the PC to search for information on the web, then capture any images or information and collate it easily into one document. Want to add a picture of a pyramid? No problem, find one and drag it onto the mat. Fancy adding a shot of Tutankhamun’s mask? With a swish of a finger, you’re effortlessly making a collage which can then be manipulated and re-sized, or cut out and trimmed as you wish. You can easily add text to the document, or even your own handwritten notes with the stylus or by using a finger to write.
In their downtime, the boys have been absorbed with the apps. The Pianotime keyboard has been a favourite as they have merrily composed tunes and they’ve also enjoyed mixing pop songs with the Virtual DJ app. There are plenty of other apps available to enable crafting, movie-making, music, drawing and so much more.
Our three boys have probably had the most fun working on some stop motion animation with their favourite Lego figures.
Here’s a little sample created by our seven year old:
For anyone in a creative job such as a designer, and even for myself as a home interiors blogger, the kit ticks so many boxes. You can choose to use it just as a PC, or engage with all the other fabulous features – so you don’t need Sprout in addition to a computer. If you are planning to replace or upgrade your PC and would like some cool extra features, it is definitely something to consider.
It enabled me to create this mood board for a blog post I’m working on about the industrial trend. I scanned in the brick wallpaper from a sample I had, whereas the other images were simply captured from the web. It would be just as easy to scan in fabric samples and more objects to work with on your design, either in 2D or 3D.
If I was a professional interior designer, working with a client or other professionals involved in a home renovation project, I could see that it would be a breeze to collaborate with them via the ‘My Room’ app which allows you to work together in real-time, discussing and creating design ideas face to face via the screen, and even sharing the screen and the mat. That’s truly collaborative working.
The team at HP have challenged me to explore Sprout further as part of their #gomakethings campaign, with a project that captures something old and turns it into something new; this intriguing idea got my brain whirring and I decided to create some themed notecards for holidays and special occasions. I’ve even used my wedding dress amongst other old things in my designs, so look out for my third and final post about HP Sprout coming soon!