PC with built-in 3D Scanner and Projector for Under $2K

You could go to the official HP web site (sprout.hp.com), which has photos of hands, and origami, and phrases like “express yourself” that don’t tell you anything about what this thing actually is.

Or read some of the reports of people who have actually used it. The HP Sprout is a desktop touch screen computer that comes with an integrated 3D scanner and projector and the Touch Mat, which looks kind of like a big mouse pad but has a capacitive touch surface. The projector also can project images onto the surface of the 20-inch mat, which you can then interact with – like a keyboard, piano keys, or a drawing pad.

The best description I’ve seen yet is PCMag’s, including more on the 3D scanning ability.  One limitation on the scanner, according to CNET:

“Right now, the Sprout only scans the top half of objects — the part facing up toward the Illuminator’s cameras — but sometime next spring, HP promises support for full 3D scanning. There’s also a plan to have the Sprout send its data to 3D printers, too.”

Yes, you have to put up with Windows 8, but you can get this all-in-one package in about two weeks for $1899.99.

For more photos, check out The Verge:

HP Sprout. Source: theverge.com

MINI Makes a Pickup Truck

The Mini Paceman Adventure Truck Concept
The MINI Paceman Adventure Truck Concept
Mini Paceman Adventure Going Away
MINI Paceman Adventure Going Away

Sporting what may the the smallest ever truck bed, a snorkel, and almost no ground clearance, the one-off MINI Paceman Adventure concept keeps the fun, throws out the rest of the function along with the back seats.

Or does it? After all MINIs have been winning the Dakar Rally the past few years, so they should know something about driving offroad. Regardless, the Adventure is a concept car that will not be going into production, so if you want one, you’ll have to chop the back off a Paceman yourself.

MINIs at the Dakar Rally
MINIs at the Dakar Rally