HP Sprout offers new possibilities for computer workstations

The lines between desktop and mobile computers are blurrier than some enterprises might be ready for, which could require special solutions for optimizing use of legacy applications during work processes. A definitive example of this is the HP Sprout, which has been commented on in various media sources recently and appears to be a desk-based PC combining some of the features that make tablets so useful.

This device can be operated without the aid of a keyboard or mouse, because it employs a touchscreen and unique image-scanning mat. This latter development is particularly intriguing, because it allows users to scan objects placed on the mat and then manipulate their images after they have been uploaded. Graphic designers in particular could use this to their advantage, directly sketching onto the pad with their stylus.

Coupled with further advances in digital imaging, these changes could have positive consequences for some industries, but what about the general workforce? The BBC spoke to Mikako Kitagawa of Gartner, who said there is only limited consumer appeal, despite the novelty of the Sprout's design.

"It's a great product and I really like the concept," she said, but added, "The question is will it be a mainstream device, and the answer is probably not. It's not just expensive -it's also not clear how quickly users would adapt to adapt to its new way of inputting data, and this type of device is not for everyone."

Working with the different interfaces and designs for desktop computers is still important for companies to create an environment that allows them to still access all the necessary mainframe functions. A software-based terminal emulation solution is one way to account for these changes in technology without losing any of the important features your employees depend on.