HP Unveils Detachable 3D Camera at CES 2018
Andrew Wheeler posted on January 10, 2018 | | 2944 views

It’s that time of year again.

At CES 2018, tech giants and dwarfs alike are sharing their wares. Throngs of attendees are among the first to try out new products like the new HP Z 3D Camera, which was unveiled earlier this week at the event.

Deconstructing Sprout was a “reality computer” from 2015 that integrated 3D capture technology with powerful 3D software to process it and came bundled with a Dremel 3D printer. HP is now segmenting the 3D capture hardware for wider use on different types of desktop workstations. (Image courtesy of HP.)
The HP Z 3D camera is based off of the 3D capture technology from the HP Sprout. (Image courtesy of HP.)

Sprout was a “reality computer” from 2015 that integrated 3D capture technology with powerful 3D software to process it and came bundled with a Dremel 3D printer. HP is now segmenting the 3D capture hardware for wider use on different types of desktop workstations. Compatible with the majority of HP Z and EliteDisplay series monitors, the HP Z 3D Camera has a number of minimum requirements.

To use the camera, you need:

  1. Windows 10
  2. A current HP Z and E series monitors (though it should work on any Windows 10 computer)
  3. A 4th Gen Intel Core i7-4790S CPU or higher
  4. 16 GB of RAM
  5. 1.8 GB of available storage
  6. NVIDIA GTX 960M or better for 3D Capture
  7. To be located in a specific region, which HP hasn’t specified yet

Both the original HP Sprout and its slightly evolved second version, the Sprout Pro G2, made 3D scanning easier and integrated into a workstation computer. Both were priced on the high side at $3,750 and up.

Cost of HP Z Camera: $599

Shaped like one-half the perimeter of a rectangle, the HP Z Camera sticks to the top of display monitors via a magnetic badge. Noticeably absent are the Touch Mat and the light projector found in the Sprout models.

It’s pretty much the exact same technology segmented away from the pricier integration with a dedicated Sprout PC. It uses a 3D depth-sensing camera with an infrared diffractive optical element projector and a 14.6 megapixel 2D camera.

If you’ve demoed the HP Sprout PC and liked its scanning capabilities, you may want to check out this scanner as a stand-alone attachable option.

How It Works

You place an object on the included scan mat and use software (HP WorkTools) to engage the 3D camera and capture reality data of the physical object, which duplicates and transforms the physical object into a digital version that is now stored on your hard drive.

For VR enthusiasts, the HP Z Camera does support real-time simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) tracking. This means that you can capture a physical object, and then use the digital version of it in virtual reality applications.

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