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The new HP Sprout computer is perfect for 3-D printing

The future of computing is already here. It includes 3-D imaging so you can create realistic images for virtual reality, or augmented reality games and computer programs, where you interact with images in front of you, often while wearing a VR headset.

It also includes 3-D printing. We've told you about companies using 3-D printing to make prescription drugs, cars, and much more. Plus, some companies are selling kid-friendly 3-D printers, so your children can design objects, like toys, then print them out.

The computer maker HP is seriously ramping up virtual reality and 3-D printing with its upcoming HP Sprout Pro computer. The odd-looking computer, with a scanner where you'd normally find a keyboard and an arm up above (see photo), has serious specs.

It uses the Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia's graphic processor, GeForce GT 945A. It has 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.

The Sprout Pro has two USB 3.0 ports, a HDMI 1.4 slot. And it uses 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.o.

That arm up top scans objects that you place on the touch pad, which doubles as your keyboard. You can interact with the 23.6-inch Zvr monitor to modify 3-D images using 3-D glasses and a stylus-type pen.

Once you or your kids scan an object, they load it up on Microsoft's 3D Builder software or Autodesk's Meshmixer. From there, you can print out your 3-D image or incorporate it into a CAD system to use for virtual reality applications.

The HP Sprout Pro will be available in February. The asking price? $2,199.

But that steep price doesn't mean your kids or grandchildren won't be using it. HP is going to give hundreds of Sprout Pros to schools, with the hope they'll get feedback from students.

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