Think that HP’s going to throw in the towel now that they’ve blown up the PC world and announced plans to spin-off or sell their personal computer group? Think again. The company just pulled the curtain off of its new HP TopShot Laserjet Pro M275 – a scanner that can scan 3D images rather than just plain-jane 2D papers. It’s not anywhere near as cool as those 3D printers you’ve seen on YouTube, but still kind of nifty.
After you plop a 3D object down on the scanning bed and press “Scan,” the M275’s hinged, camera-packing arm goes into action. According to
HP’s explanation of the TopShot technology
(PDF), the arm takes six pictures from all around the 3D object – three with a flash and three using ambient light. “These separate shots are then automatically combined into one seamless image of exceptional quality,” HP says. The technique is supposed to create glare- and shadow-free images. They aren’t 3D images, only super-high quality 2D images, so put those red-and-blue glasses down.
HP then went and made the thing even more useful by adding printing and copying capabilities. The M275 might not be the most exciting accessory on the planet, but for people who need to take lots of high-quality pictures of 3D objects – businesses, craftsmen, and geeks who painted their entire RPG figure collection, let’s say – it could end up being a useful gadget. No word on a release date other than “soon,” but
expect the all-in-one to set you back $400 smackers
for pointing this out!