HP wants to do Augmented Reality with the HP Elite x3

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HP Elite x3 laptop dock

HP wants to bring work-related Augmented Reality to the HP Elite x3.

The Elite x3 won’t do AR right out of the starting gate, but it will eventually, Michael Park, vice president and general manager of mobility at HP, said. “Directionally that’s where the roadmap will go.”

Park said Augmented Reality will change the way workers interact with the physical world around them, and would be useful in areas like medicine and troubleshooting.

While the handset lacked the sensors needed to 3D map the environment Park did not think this was a major impediment.

“It could be a head-based unit or arm-based unit combined with the [handset] unit — there are all kinds of scenarios,” Park said.

Park noted that the same Universal Windows applications made for the HoloLens AR headset will work on smartphones also.

He noted that the Snapdragon 820 processor gave the Elite x3 the same power as an entry-level PC and that HP’s Workspace cloud-based virtual machine and range of accessories would make the handset a real PC replacement.  HP will charge a subscription fee for the virtual machine and cloud-based application services, which will be broken down into two categories: “essentials,” for small and medium-sized businesses that rely heavily on legacy apps, and “premium” for large enterprise customers, which will include app transformation to make the programs cloud ready.

Park explained that it was a difficult decision for HP to get back into smartphones but that HP could not ignore them because they’re important work tools. He said for now HP would be exclusively using Windows 10 Mobile in enterprise-grade handsets and had no plans to ship low-cost phones.

“There are a lot of people in the commercial domain who are not using Pokemon Go,” Park said. “We’re not trying to hit the volumes and scales of Android. We’re going after IT shops.”