Above: Alex Cho introduces the company’s new AI-driven computer products as well as its flexible PCs.
I’ve seen the future, and the present too, for that matter, at HP Imagine 2023. Was it worth taking two travel days to spend one day at the first-ever HP Imagine in Palo Alto, California, where press and analysts from around the world could learn about the company’s latest products, solutions, and services innovations? I’ll give that a resounding yes.
The HP team did an excellent job with their HP Imagine 2023 presentations. Even though not everything discussed was relevant to The Cannata Report’s office technology dealer audience, it was fascinating to hear about the company’s latest innovations, whether a consumer product or a product designed for a specific industry. HP has been working on most of these products for the past year, or longer, and many are available now or will be introduced in the next quarter.
From Personal Computers to Personal Companions at HP Imagine 2023
After HP President & CEO Enrique Lores identified three trends—including AI—that are driving HP innovation (see separate article), Alex Cho, president of personal systems and solutions, reinforced the AI theme, noting that AI will dramatically change what people can do and the devices and the computing enabling it.
An example is HP AI Studio, a software platform Cho said sets a new standard for workflow collaboration. The software is designed to help data scientists and AI developers accelerate and scale AI model development. “Data science is increasingly becoming a team sport, which means that people need the ability to work together on their projects,” explained Cho. “But that is difficult today. With HP AI Studio, we are changing that. We are streamlining setup and data configuration that allows multiple people to contribute to the same project across cloud and on-prem environments.” HP also introduced a new AI workstation solution that simplifies building and customizing private AI models and applications.
AI is also transforming the PC. “It’s going to make the PC far more personal,” emphasized Cho. “It’ll be like having a personal companion. Imagine if you had a device that could provide you with personalized, bulleted meeting summaries based on your own email contacts and presentations because it can identify what’s important for you. Think of those vacations when you were afraid of missing out on a meeting, and you dialed in. In the future, with the power of AI, particularly with inference on your local PC, it will summarize what you missed in a tailored way for you.”
Above: The HP Spectre Fold foldable PC. Note the thinness of the components on the shelf above.
The AI PC will be launched next year. HP also introduced two flexible PCs designed primarily for the consumer market. The HP Spectre Fold PC is described by HP as the world’s thinnest and smallest 17-inch foldable PC. It transitions between three modes, laptop mode for portability, tablet mode, and desktop mode for a large screen. The Spectre Fold is also the first foldable PC with a wireless charging keyboard and pen. The Envy Move is a portable all-in-one desktop that weighs 9 lbs. and has a 23.8-inch screen. Instead of a power cord, it is powered by a built-in battery.
Above: The Envy Move, a lightweight portable desktop system.
From Smarter Meeting Rooms to Enhanced Security, to Sustainability Initiatives at HP Imagine 2023
Above: Dave Shull discusses the innovations taking place in HP’s Workforce Solutions Group.
HP has a comprehensive portfolio of video conferencing solutions for hybrid work, which includes PCs, headsets, cameras, and Poly meeting room solutions. The company introduced new solutions that fit into more types of rooms, expanding its Poly solutions and innovations to large rooms and smaller huddle rooms. It is also integrating its high-performance cameras and a high-performance computer together. In addition, HP introduced a seamless experience across its Poly headsets and HP PCs. They will be designed to automatically pair out of the box.
Another innovation introduced at HP Imagine 2023 was HP’s Best Face-Forward platform, an AI-driven software experience that transforms how people appear on screen. This innovation frames each meeting participant individually in a room with several people. As a result, remote participants can more clearly read body language and facial expressions. Yes, Big Brother is watching.
President of Workforce Solutions, Dave Shull, previously CEO of Poly before it was acquired by HP, discussed the innovations underway in the Workforce Solutions group. The group’s vision is to make employees more productive and engaged to do their best possible work. “No matter where you are in the world, small companies, big companies, work has changed forever,” he said. “We want to make sure that everyone, whether they’re in the office or out of the office, they’re seen, they’re heard, and they’re working better together.”
The announcement of HP Managed Collaboration Services is a step in that direction as HP looks to help customers better manage and optimize how the conference space is used and ensure that meetings start and run smoothly. “If you think about all the video components that are in a room, all the audio components that are in the room, there are some real insights that you can glean from that and say, ‘This is how we’re going to truly optimize what’s going on there,’” said Shull.
Some of those insights include identifying how many people on average are in a meeting, or if meetings are scheduled but the room not used.
HP has long been bullish on security, and Shull unveiled a new offering, HP Wolf Protect and Trace, which is embedded in Workforce Central. Now, if someone loses their notebook PC, or it is stolen, the IT department can track the device’s location through Workforce Central. Even if the device is off and/or not recoverable, IT can access it, and as a final measure, wipe it of any secure information.
Shull also announced HP Renew Solutions, a new refurbishment offering that will be rolled out in India and France before extending it to other regions. The goal is to refurbish more devices, returning them to what Shull described as an “A quality.”
HP Printing Innovation Highlights at HP Imagine 2023
Above: Tuan Tran, president of imaging, printing, and solutions, presented HP’s printing innovation highlights.
Some of the highlights presented by Tuan Tran, president of imaging, printing, and solutions, include:
- A New Consumer Ink Tank Product Line. “We’re bringing a spill-free experience with HP quality and reliability to the ink tank products,” said Tran.
- A New Infinite program geared to SMBs. “Infinite is a very successful program for us,” said Tran. “You can get multiple printers in one account, multiple addresses, so we can sell them our supplies. For a small business with multiple locations, we actually added a paper option, so now you get everything you need to print.”
- Revamped A3 and A4 products. According to Tran, the new models are 20% faster, 30% smaller, and 20% more energy efficient than the previous generation, and the toner cartridges are a fraction of the size they were before.
- New large format printers. “We don’t talk enough about large format, but it’s an important business for us,” acknowledged Tran. Large format printers were announced for small architect offices and large enterprises, as well as HP’s first tank-based large format model.
- The Latex 630 Series. This latex printer is designed for creating car wraps, office decor, small business signage, and wallpaper. The printer is reportedly the fastest in the category and uses water-based inks that are durable, odorless, and more sustainable.
- The V12 printer. This device is designed for industrial graphics applications and is focused on labels and packaging and offers what Tran described as, great color and great reliability. It is six times faster than HP’s previous generation products. “We want to make that shift from analog to digital, and we’re doing that with our technology,” said Tran.
- 3D printing. HP has been working with its industry partners on polymer and metal technologies for 3D applications. “The value of 3D is in the personalization,” Tran emphasized before showing running shoes designed on a 3D printer in partnership with Brooks, a leading running shoe manufacturer.
- The Instant Ink program. This program is still important to HP, and its simplicity is its big selling point. “When we launched in 2013, we really changed the game,” said Tran. “We’ve enabled customers to save 50% off their printing, and we can deliver cartridges directly to their door before the ink runs out.” The Instant Ink program now has 13 million subscribers in 38 countries.
- HP SitePrint. This is a robotic solution for printing complex construction site layouts and can reportedly do it ten times faster than manual methods and within three millimeters of accuracy.
Above: HP SitePrint in action.