Windows 10 on HP Sprout lets the creative process flourish, from start to finish

Native Microsoft Windows 10 features—rich 3D image support, Ink and touch—bring the HP Sprout Pro to life. These features enable developers to easily modernize their applications while leveraging the Microsoft Office 365 suite to pervasively enrich the user experience. 

Installing Windows 10 right out of the box, everything just works beautifully
—Brad Short, Chief Experience Lead at the Immersive Computing Group at HP

The best ideas solidify through collaboration and countless iterations.

In today’s world, millions of people collaborate globally through digital programs like Microsoft PowerPoint. But expressing ideas about the 3D world through 2D digital media can pose lost-in-translation problems.

The solution? Start off in the digital world, and empower creative ideas with easy collaboration from start to finish. Windows 10 accomplishes exactly that. Its native 3D, Ink and touch capabilities enhance the Office 365 suite, improving understanding and inspiring creativity. For HP, Windows 10 brought its immersive computing device, Sprout Pro, to life, enabling limitless use cases—from gaming to education.

Striving to digitize the 3D world 

The Immersive Computing Group at HP Inc. wanted to create a seamless, intuitive solution that brought the 3D world into a 3D digital platform.

“We've researched this and found that 65 percent of the population are visual thinkers.” said Brad Short, Chief Experience Lead at the Immersive Computing Group at HP. “When I think about visual communication, visual collaboration… I need a three-dimensional representation. I need an operating system that thinks the way I think and presents things the way visual thinkers think.”

Short said he knew the solution would have to integrate established productivity tools like documents and slides to make collaboration and sharing easy.

“And that's what led to this concept of Sprout, which is an immersive computing system that allows you to effortlessly and seamlessly digitize content around you and integrate it directly into productivity apps,” Short said.

Enhancing visual communication with HP Sprout and Windows 10
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Enhancing visual communication with HP Sprout and Windows 10

Using HP Sprout and Windows, students can use features like inking and 3D scanning to communicate, innovate and shape the world around them. Learn more here:
It worked so beautifully because touch was fully supported, multi-screens was fully supported. All these features that Sprout really required - fully supported.
—Brad Short, Chief Experience Lead at the Immersive Computing Group at HP

The Sprout Pro unites a high-end desktop PC with built-in cameras and sensors for 3D scanning and a hi-res projector. This combination transforms Inking. It takes it from a vertical screen that’s not intuitive or ergonomic and moves the experience to a Touch Mat, which simulates the experience of drawing on paper.

HP engineers realized Sprout would be much easier to build and maintain with a flexible OS that natively enabled 3D formats. Windows 10 allowed them to extend 3D, Inking and touch seamlessly across programs to enhance tools like PowerPoint and Paint 3D.

“We went searching for an operating system and it was either Android or Windows,” Short said. “The knee jerk was ‘Let's just make it Android,’ because it’s the closest to a mobile-like web OS. And one day I installed the latest Windows onto our testbed. It worked so beautifully because touch was fully supported, multi-screens was fully supported. All these features that Sprout really required, fully supported.”

Honing creativity through technology in the Makers Design Studio class

The Makers Design Studio class at the Leadership Public School helps students build their creativity, digital competencies and skills for their upcoming careers. Lucy Rivera, who leads the class, said the studio was inspired by the makers economy, and pushes students to find their voice through creativity, inspiring them to innovate with 3D scanning and Inking and share their ideas with other students.

“I have always dreamed of a classroom where students can come in and have an idea and they can make it happen,” Rivera said. “This room is designed for students to be able to do that. And Sprout Pro is a huge part of that… I think of it as not just a computer, but more like a creative box that you can just make anything out of."

Windows 10 on HP Sprout is the ideal scenario for Rivera’s class. Students use Microsoft Paint 3D with Inking to draw on the touchpad, or they scan in 3D objects and share them through programs like PowerPoint.

"Once they started using the Paint 3D program, they're just really blown away by how easy it is to use and how casually they can put 3D environments together and create 3D objects," Rivera said.

It's something that is almost like [the students] would experience in their sketchbooks. It happens right in front of them and it's just as valuable to them as regular drawing.
—Lucy Rivera, Teacher, Leadership Public School

Native 3D support rethinks productivity

Being able to communicate ideas in 3D can accelerate comprehension because it’s much more representative of the real world than 2D. Going a step further and integrating 3D into Microsoft Office tools so they can read 3mf file formats has huge implications for productivity.

“Within our applications, we built direct save-out to 3mf file format,” said Short. “I can do a 3D scan on Sprout, save it to the desktop, and drag and drop that file into PowerPoint 3D—into all the Office that now supports 3D. It makes 3D relevant, accessible, and useful to people who have never worked in 3D.”   

Inking and touch shine with intuitive technology

Adding in Ink and touch capabilities—on top of the 3D compatibility—is a gamechanger for the creative process. Using devices like Sprout Pro, users can scan and capture 3D images, then edit them effortlessly with Ink.

“The Microsoft operating system features that I think are really valuable for my students is number one the Inking program,” Rivera said. “It's something that is almost like they would experience in their sketchbooks. It happens right in front of them and it's just as valuable to them as regular drawing.”

Beyond enhancing education and learning scenarios, Windows 10 enables Inking and 3D capabilities that enrich collaboration in a wide range of areas by eliminating the need to switch between analog and digital media.

“If you think about a pencil, or a pen, or a stylus, it's been around forever. You can express yourself. You can go up to a white board and draw,” Short said. “Why it's taken this long to actually become pervasive in a desktop is a little unusual. You could always have a solution, but it wasn't really an integral, inherent part of an operating system.”

Windows 10 enables developers to extend 3D, Inking and other powerful features into their own apps

The Immersive Computing team at HP found Windows 10 easily connected existing apps.

“We install a light-weight set of work tools on top of Windows 10 and that really bridges the gap between all of the Windows 10 features all the third-party app features,” Short said. “We utilize these work tools as this bridge. So instead of redesigning these verticals, we leveraged Windows 10 features. We leveraged third-party apps and found that just a small bridge…extends all of these use cases to existing apps. All existing Win 32 apps, all existing UWP apps.”

Shaping the 3D innovation market

The native 3D, Ink and touch capabilities across Windows 10—plus the full integration with Office 365—helped HP enhance its immersive computing practice. With Windows 10 and immersive technology from HP, productivity and creativity will never be the same.

From education, gaming and 3D printing to cataloging artifacts for museums, archaeology and forensic pathology, HP Sprout and Windows 10 are changing the way we communicate. For developers, HP Sprout Pro also illuminates the potential of 3D applications in mixed reality by serving as an on-ramp for physical objects, making it easy to import them into game platforms like Unity and Microsoft HoloLens. Coupled with Windows 10, Sprout Pro offers the most convenient way for makers that are redesigning physical objects and reproducing them on 3D printers.

“I'm continuously surprised about what developers come up with,” Short said. “People hear about Sprout and they contact us with these amazing ideas about what they can do with the Sprout—that we didn't think about.”