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Sood, right, working with the HP team on the Misto touch interface
Six months after HP absorbed the boutique vendor Voodoo PC, the company sheds some light on its eventual plans

Late last week Hewlett-Packard showcased the fruits of its Voodoo PC acquisition and the HP Labs development team. 

"It became clear that there has been work going on even prior to the Voodoo acquisition and now the wheels are spinning freely, and things are anything but status quo," said HP Global Gaming Chief Technology Officer and DailyTech Blogger Rahul Sood.

Much of HP's showcase included technology derived from HP Labs projects.  HP's Misto project, for example, integrates a 50" touch screen into a coffee table.  The interface is designed as a proof-of-concept for gamers, but Sood isn't discounting its usefulness for other applications.

"Well, we have been exploring all types of technologies which pertain to gaming, including handheld, display, interface, and many others.  We have enough intellectual property within HP to wallpaper the building," states Sood.  "These research scientists within HP Labs are absolute geniuses, they have some interesting projects yet to be unveiled.  The interesting thing is many of the projects they are working on are not specific to gaming - we have recognized these areas and the creative juices are flowing."

Voodoo PC built its niche on the no-expense-spared ultra enthusiasts.  Although HP is a bit more grounded when it comes to catering to the masses, Voodoo's influence in HP Labs is more than apparent.  In particular, HP demonstrated its nine-projector interface capable of displaying images bright enough to see outside in full daylight.  HP's interlacing technology has shown up on other projector based projects; at the Consumer Electronics Show last January the company demonstrated its immersive driving simulator using multiple projectors interlaced together.

However, six months after HP's acquisition of Voodoo, the company still has not shipped an official HP-Voodoo collaborated PC yet.  HP continues to build Voodoo's boutique PCs, mid-range PCs under the Hewlett-Packard brand and entry level products under the Compaq brand. The company still lacks a direct competitor to Dell's XPS line. 

"We recognized that there is a gap between HP and Voodoo – and we believe this gap is significant enough that we need to jump into the sandbox and draw the line. We never said anything about creating a fourth brand but there is indeed speculation."

Sood closes, "As I said at the event in San Francisco, our funnel is full of ideas; you’ll see some new stuff as early as this year."

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Is it just me, or...
By Cobra Commander on 4/10/2007 3:25:08 PM , Rating: 5
Is it just me or do the news/review sites act like this acquisition is a bigger deal than it really is? I'm not saying this article is coming off that way, I'm just tiring of hearing about a company (and its visionary) that I never batted an eye at. So I'm just wondering if I'm the only one who doesn't care.?

RE: Is it just me, or...
By TomZ on 4/10/2007 3:34:15 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree.

RE: Is it just me, or...
By James Holden on 4/10/2007 3:34:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'm kinda with you on this. This guy gets a ton of attention, but doesn't sound very elegant. I read somewhere he dropped out of *high school* for VoodooPC?

I think you need to read between the lines here a little too. OK, six months after acquisition and they still don't have a product! Where's all the CableCard stuff? Why doesn't HP have nice high end displays like Dell? Instead of trying to put 27 projectors on one screen I think they'd do better for themselves to get some people with market research into these projects and get some real XPS killing hardware instead.

RE: Is it just me, or...
By Desslok on 4/10/2007 3:52:54 PM , Rating: 3
I believe he dropped out of med school to start Voodoo. Although after reading some of his interviews I wonder how he made it into college.

Then again he did start up a company when 90% of all start ups fail and got HP to buy said company.

RE: Is it just me, or...
By TomZ on 4/10/2007 3:59:36 PM , Rating: 5
Business success and intelligence are not necessarily correlated. There are lots of other variables as well, e.g., hard work, timing, location, market/industry, and even luck.

RE: Is it just me, or...
By Desslok on 4/10/2007 4:01:10 PM , Rating: 2
Very true.

RE: Is it just me, or...
By Justin Case on 4/10/2007 8:26:36 PM , Rating: 4
Business success and intelligence are not necessarily correlated.

Nor are intelligence and a college degree, for that matter.

RE: Is it just me, or...
By cheetah2k on 4/11/2007 5:20:49 AM , Rating: 2
Bill gates is a classic example

RE: Is it just me, or...
By James Holden on 4/10/2007 4:00:49 PM , Rating: 1
His blog doesn't mention med school:

Although, I distinctly remember reading that he never finished high school. Maybe that was his brother.

RE: Is it just me, or...
By garethcoker on 4/10/2007 8:51:44 PM , Rating: 3
HP's initial offering for a high-end display.,1697,2077914...

Incidentally - I don't work for HP or Voodoo!

RE: Is it just me, or...
By Aprime on 4/10/2007 4:49:56 PM , Rating: 2
Probably because he works/worked here.

I don't know if redirecting people to your blog (so they can finish reading what you have to say) counts as doing a good job, though.

RE: Is it just me, or...
By TomZ on 4/10/2007 11:28:38 PM , Rating: 2
AFAIK, Raul is just a blogger at DailyTech, which as I understand is not a paid position.

RE: Is it just me, or...
By cochy on 4/10/2007 10:26:37 PM , Rating: 1
I'm just tiring of hearing about a company (and its visionary)

Visionary? There's nothing visionary about building a PC with no proprietary parts of your own, over charging for them and adding an insanely marked up paint job.

HP only bought them out because Dell bought Alienware. If you ask me Dell's buyout was a waste, Alienware never posed any market threat to Dell, compounded by the fact that Dell's XPS line almost competes with Alienware. HP's knee jerk reaction to buy VoodooPC probably was done to appease shareholders and show them that they were countering Dell's moves.

Other than this there's nothing special about Alienware or VoodooPC. They are nice little businesses, but no big deal like you say.

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