A few weeks ago, I got to travel to a lovely ski resort in Switzerland called Saas-Fee to attend the HP Winter Summit along with numerous other bloggers and journalists from all over the globe to have a play with much of the new kit that Hewlett Packard will be releasing in the coming months. As you can see from this first image and the video below, we had a lot of fun!
Usually when we go along to these kind of events it’s a ‘sit down and listen’ kind of affair but in this instance, HP wanted to make it very much more hands-on and interactive which suited me down to the ground as I tend to switch off quite quickly when faced with the prospect of listening to someone talk about a product for hours. We were split into various groups and off we went to our sessions.
My first experience was the use of 3D in films and this has to be one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever done but I got to fight with a professional stunt man and basically beat him up! The fruits of my labour are below but suffice to say, it was fun! The idea of the sequence was to give us a taste of not only being in front of the camera but also how HP are very much in the fold when it comes to working in feature films. You may not know but HP work very closely with Dreamworks and other studios to have previously worked on movies such as the Shrek series of movies and more recently How to Train Your Dragon. The idea with this sequence was for us to be immersed into the experience and for our footage to be taken and made into a little movie. Like I say, this has to be one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever done but it was fun. I warn you now, this video is completely bonkers but you may enjoy it!
All you need to know is I am lost in a forest and get attacked by a masked gunman! I guess he wanted to steal my map!?
Onto the more serious notion of actual technology that I think for movies and games alike will make a real difference to your home entertainment life – The HP Wireless TV Connect which as soon as I saw, I wanted to own! This bit of hardware along with the HP Wireless Audio will reduce the need for more cables in the home and I know you’ll like the sound of that! The TV Connect is the second generation model but is now capable of broadcasting full HD 1080p 3D quality picture and sound wirelessly from your laptop to your living room TV. All you need to do is plug in a dongle to your laptop and then the receiver into your TV and then by selecting the right input, you’ll see your computer screen on your TV. This is going to make connecting computers to televisions so much easier and will yet again reduce the need for cables which is always a winner in my book! The device will work from up to 30 feet away which may make this a nice little solution for offices as well as homes and is so simple to set up. There’s not even any software to install, it literally is plug and play.
The Wireless Audio device is pretty similar to the that of the TV model but has a much greater range of 100 feet (30 meters) which means you could stream music around your house (unless of course you live in one the size of Buckingham Palace!). You simply plug the transmitter into your music device or computer and attach it to a speaker of hi-fi system to begin broadcasting. Simple as that.
The fact that the TV Connect can now support full HD and even 3D is also a really great feature of the product and I can’t wait to give it a test. Watch this space for more on that. HP are also starting to create laptops that have the transmitter built in so no doubt one day a time will come when this technology is all built into home systems and laptops to make this kind of technology a standard in the home. Sounds good doesn’t it!
Both the HP Wireless TV Connect will be released in the UK in February and will cost £169.99 and the HP Wireless Audio will be £89.99 and will be released imminently If you want full details, the datasheets can be downloaded here:
This was just one piece of kit that we saw at the event but for HeyUGuys readers, this is going to be the one for movies that you’re going to want to buy. In a nutshell, we also saw some brand new desktop, laptops and printers that are all very much pushing wireless and touchscreen technology all of which is going to be released in 2011 and will begin to change the way in which we work on home desktops. One of the new printers that we saw was the HP TopShot LaserJet Pro M275 which sort of blew my mind a little as it’s able to capture 3d objects. We were putting all sorts of objects onto the tray for it to scan and using a new bespoke arm that sits on top of the device, it was able to capture objects as easily as we’re used to a scanner collecting information from a flat piece of paper. The quality was astonishing although I did struggle to figure out what I would use it for. That said, if you were an online jewellery seller for example, this could really show off your pieces without the need to hire in a professional photographer capturing them in very different light to anything you’ve done before. This printer was like nothing I’d seen before and I loved it!
Going back to the touchscreen computers that we got to play with, all we could think about was kids growing up now in an age where iPads, iPhones are all they know, and they’re all touchscreen. Even the smartboards they use in schools are touchscreen and I am convinced that the keyboard and mouse that I am using to write this article are going to become obsolete in my lifetime but I guess only time will tell.
For more information on the products I’ve talked about here, head over to the HP website.