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The lightweight, high-performance, VR-ready PC backpack - now available to HP’s development partners – offers complete freedom of movement for up to an hour of fully immersive VR play
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Obsessive about innovation
Innovation is at the heart of everything we do—we're ceaselessly perfecting our core technologies, inventing entirely new product categories, and reimagining how we'll live, far into the future.
Reinventing the hinge
To create a 360° hinge mechanism that rotates fluidly yet holds firmly in four modes, our engineers built the HP Spectre x360 with a synchronized geared hinge, where the two pivots rotate equally as you open it to achieve 360°. This unique design delivers a low profile hinge with smooth movement and long-lasting durability.View HP Spectre x360 products
3D printing, reinvented by HP Labs
The 3D printing revolution is just getting started. We’re leveraging advanced research in thermal inkjet technology to transform how we manufacture and interact with everyday objects.
They’re a small team, with no dedicated office space, operating as an early stage startup within a major multinational, and yet they’re playing in a market three times as large as the smartphone and tablet technology markets combined.
Meet HP Inc.’s wearables and smart platform team. Barely a year old and just 20 people strong, their pilot product – the Michael Bastian Chronowing smartwatch – is already generating revenue. Now they’re poised to launch a new round of intelligent accessories, in a hurry to impact in the world of fashion and luxury goods.
Key to their success has been a multi-pronged approach to innovation.
“Innovation isn’t just about how you use technology,” argues team leader Sridhar Solur, whose official title is General Manager - Wearables and Smart Platform. “It’s also about the business model, the way you source and create your products, and how you brand and market them. We’re innovating around all three.”
That’s exemplified by Solur leading his team from within HP Inc.’s CTO office, instead of a more typical business unit. “We’re not looking to leverage traditional things like our supply chain and distribution channel,” he explains. “Instead we’re all about creating a true startup within a large company – being intrapreneurs.”
It’s built a strong “can do” culture in the Portland, Oregon, based group, and left them happy to just meet in a generic HP conference room a couple of days a week. The rest of the time, they teleconference or gather in coffee shops as and when they need.
A new brand – “Engineered by HP”
Addressing their target market – the $3 trillion fashion industry – also requires innovation.
“If mobile tech is about features,” Solur believes, “the killer app for wearability, as with all fashion, is emotion.” His team is worrying less about creating smart objects, and more about making existing objects smarter. And that in turn has them partnering with companies that make highly-sought after fashion accessories that are missing that “smart” spark, including some of the world’s leading watch makers.
“We’re solving a tier one problem for them,” notes Solur. “They need to transform their businesses, which means that nearly every member of our team is meeting with C level executives at these companies.”
These high-profile partners are supplying the designs craved by the customers they target. The Wearables team, meanwhile, offers HP’s tech knowhow, including a cloud service and mobile app framework that works with any mobile technology, and whatever hardware elements are needed.
“We don’t want customers to have to decide between tradition and technology,” Solur says. “You can still wear a drop-dead gorgeous watch on your hand, and if you want that watch to be a little bit smarter, we can make that happen.”
The consequence has been another innovation, this time in branding – creating an entirely new HP sub-brand, “Engineered by HP”. It ensures that the brand credibility for new wearables like the MB Chronowing is shared between an admired fashion identity and that of a company known for delivering sophisticated consumer technologies at a global scale.
A new model for HP
The Wearables & Smart Platform team is just one of a number of intrapreneurial groups being supported within the new HP Inc.
Not all of these are guaranteed to succeed, Solur acknowledges. “But that’s the beauty of the entrepreneurship model,” he says. “There are no failures, just lessons learned. And the beauty of HP Inc. is that we are willing to accommodate startups within the company that take a whole new approach, making it possible to try all kinds of things that we’ve never done before.”
Looking ahead, Solur expects that sensors will reside in almost everything that is sold as fashion, including clothing and shoes – a trend that will see fashion-related objects pioneering the Internet of Things.
In the next few weeks, he notes, “we’ll have a new round of augmented watches coming into the marketplace, and not long after that we could move into bags, shoes, and other smart accessories from very well-known fashion brands and labels. Watch this space!”