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HP Confirms Sprout "Immersive Computer"

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HP reveals the first "Blended Reality" product-- the Sprout, a desktop PC HP says "combines the power of an advanced desktop computer with an immersive, natural user interface to create a new computing experience."

HP SproutFrom a distance the Sprout looks like an All-in-One PC, only the keyboard is replaced by a mat and what looks like an desk lamp hangs on top of a 23-inch touchscreen. However the "mat" is actually a capacitative touch surface, and the "desk lamp" combines an Intel RealSense 3D camera, 14.6MP camera and a DLP projector beaming a work surface on the mat.

The idea behind the Sprout is users can scan objects before manipulating them directly with their fingers using either touchscreen or touch surface. In other words, it is a bit like the holographic computer Tony Stark uses to create his robot suits in the Iron Man films.

The Sprout appears aimed at creative professionals and prosumers, but HP also shows a more consumer-friendly side to the PC with a Sprout-optimised version of game Castle Crashers. On the software side the company also provides a Sprout Marketplace, an online store for Sprout-friendly applications.

Gartner: 3D Printer Market "At Inflection Point"

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According to Gartner the 3D printer market is "is at an inflection point", as global shipments are forecast to reach 217350 units in 2015, up from 108151 in 2014, before growing to over 2.3 million by 2018.

3D Printer"Unit shipment growth rates for 3D printers, which languished in the low single and double digits per year throughout the 30 years since the first 3D printers were invented, are poised to increase dramatically beginning in 2015," the analyst says. "As radical as the forecast numbers may seem, bear in mind that even the 2.3 million shipments that we forecast will be sold in 2018 are a small fraction of the total potential market of consumers, businesses and government organisations worldwide."

Leading the market through 2018 in 3D printing technologies is material extrusion, since it is the technology behind consumer (sub-$1000) 3D printer segment. Driving consumer 3D printer adoption is lower prices, improved performance and expanded global availability.

On the enterprise side, 3D printing viability for prototypes and manufacturing, together with lower costs, improved quality and a wider material range are main market drivers.

You’ve Been "Apptimized."

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The problem of installing desktop or virtualized software across the company has been “apptimized;” now it’s as easy as application-packaging-as -a-service.

Today businesses buy software they can’t use,” says Vincent Weberink, CEO of Apptimzed.

Vincent Weberink, CEO of Apptimzed.

And he’s right.

It’s not that companies are buying faulty applications or useless software packages. No, instead they are usually buying excellent software—software that’s usually vital for employees to perform their daily jobs.

Yet once bought, that software still can’t be used straight away. It needs to go through an expert process called “application packaging” to configure and prepare it for deployment in the company’s IT infrastructure. A process that can be days or weeks or months, depending upon the company’s process and capabilities.

And if this is crazy, it’s made even more absurd by the fact we have become inured, accustomed to this “lag” between purchase and use. Imagine buying an auto and having to wait days or weeks to on-board anyone wishing to drive…who would put up with such a major inconvenience?

Vuzix Smart Glasses Get 3rd SAP App

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Vuzix M100The Vuzix M100 smart glasses get a version of a 3rd SAP enterprise application-- specifically AR Operator Rounds, an application enabling the workforce to conduct hands-free operator rounds and inspections.

AR Operator Rounds supports features including communications with beacons allowing equipment ID and improved indoor navigation, equipment readings and measurements directly int he Smart Glasses, over the shoulder remote support and full voice control, all with hands-free operation.

It joins SAP's AR Warehouse Picker and AR Service Technician mobile apps.

Microsoft, IBM Team Up in Cloud

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Cloud IBM and Microsoft announce a partnership where the two companies host their respective enterprise software on Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud, a deal the companies say provides customers, partners and developers more choice in the cloud.

In a few words, IBM middleware such as WebSphere Liberty, MQ and DB2 will be available on Azure, while Windows Server and SQL Server will be offered on IBM Cloud. Meanwhile the IBM Bluemix cloud development platform will host a Microsoft .NET runtime, IBM software running on Windows Server Hyper-V gets expanded support and the IBM Pure Application Service will be available on Azure.

The IBM-owned SoftLayer already provides and supports a range of Microsoft software, including Windows Server, Hyper-V, WebMatrix, Windos Firewall and SQL Server, among others.

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