HP Couples Its ZCentral with NVIDIA Omniverse for Remote 3D Content Collaboration26 Oct, 2020 By: Cadalyst Staff
The combination — intended to help teams scattered by the pandemic work on group projects more efficiently — was announced along with new monitor offerings.
HP has announced new additions to the “HP Create Ecosystem,” its lineup of hardware and software solutions for digital content creators — a group that encompasses engineers, designers, and artists.
Unsurprisingly, given the number of professionals forced into working from home during the pandemic, the updates emphasize helping geographically separated workers to connect with each other and collaborate effectively. According to HP’s own research, 80% of companies “are doing what they can to keep up with today’s new normal by accelerating the adoption of collaboration applications for workers.” In addition, HP expects large numbers of creators will work remotely in the future, “with 80% of creators reporting a desire to continue to work from home post-pandemic.”
Anu Herranen, director of new product introduction for Z by HP, explained during a press briefing that “transformation in creative workflows has never been greater than now ... we now have to have the ability to work from anywhere.” She also observed that “IT is not ready to support all this remote work” — meaning that new solutions are needed for companies to thrive in the era of working from home. “Each of us is navigating work and life in new ways. As the world changes and creators evolve, the way we work and create has forever changed,” Herranen continued.
Co-creation with Scattered Team Members
HP announced that it has partnered with NVIDIA to connect HP’s ZCentral Remote Boost software with NVIDIA Omniverse, a virtual collaboration and real-time photorealistic simulation platform for real-time 3D content production. “Artists can work within their preferred 3D creation program like Substance by Adobe and contribute to a shared 3D scene at the same time within the Omniverse platform,” HP stated. (Remote Boost enables creators to access workstation computing power remotely, and helps them collaborate with dispersed team members.)
“With ZCentral, creative teams can connect to compute resources that have preconfigured applications, and they can collaborate within the same application,” Joshua St. John, head of creators, Z by HP, explained during the briefing. “And we’re partnering with NVIDIA as they’ve unveiled their new real-time, photorealistic simulation, visualization, and collaboration platform, Omniverse, that allows these same 3D teams to collaborate from different applications to the same centralized complex 3D project. This combination dramatically accelerates remote teams’ creative workflows.”
The ZCentral–Omniverse combination supports multiple endpoint devices and operating systems, including macOS, Windows, and Linux. It also provides seamless support for multi-display setups, 4K, and 60 FPS, HP reports.
Keeping an Eye on Monitors from a Distance
On the hardware side, a new generation of Z by HP and DreamColor displays made their debut. The new HP Z25xs G3 and Z27xs G3 DreamColor displays are compatible with all devices and platforms, and connect to a Mac or PC with single USB-C cable. These models provide more than a billion on-screen colors, and feature a PANTONE Validated color gamut. PANTONE Validated means that “the Pantone chip, the display, and the notebook all look the same, across all three of the solutions,” explained Aaron Slessinger, HP’s director of product planning for commercial displays. And because they’re color-calibrated before leaving the factory, color is consistent between units. “My display looks the same as my counterpart, so we know that we’re seeing the very same color-accurate display,” Slessinger continued.
HP claims they are the “world’s first color-critical HDR monitors with one-touch brightness adjust,” meaning users can quickly increase screen lighting to maximum brightness or return it to the previous level. “It’s a simple up–down toggle that lets you adjust brightness all the way up, so if you’re looking at an image that you’re creating that you want to see on an iPhone that might be outside, or one touch down to put you back into the brightness in which you’re creating, because you’re worried about too much brightness on your eyes,” Slessinger said. A new on-screen set of monitor controls replaces “those four awkward buttons at the bottom of the display,” he noted.
In addition to the two new DreamColor models, there are six new Z Core displays, which offer resolution as high as 4K, 100W USB-C power delivery, and thinner profiles than their predecessors. Narrow bezels maximize available screen space and enable a “frameless” viewing experience. “The new displays are all about front of screen, so you see a four-sided borderless design, very narrow bezels, and super-razor-thin edges,” said Slessinger.
Z displays come equipped with HP Display Manager, an end-point management solution that enables IT managers to monitor, track, and adjust a fleet of displays remotely. The software “gives you one quick view of the overall inventory that you have,” Slessinger said, including information such as monitor age and health. Users can use Display Manager to set use policies, such as having all displays turn off at 6 pm to save power, and it can facilitate any necessary firmware upgrades remotely: “There’s no need to be onsite or right in front of the display,” he said.
HP shared the following release schedule for the new displays:
- HP Z25xs G3 QHD USB-C DreamColor Display is expected to be available in March 2021 for a starting price of $599
- HP Z27xs G3 4K USB-C DreamColor Display is expected to be available in March 2021 for a starting price of $749
- HP Z24f G3 FHD Display is expected to be available in January 2021 for a starting price of $239
- HP Z24n G3 WUXGA Display is expected to be available in January 2021 for a starting price of $299
- HP Z24u G3 WUXGA Display is expected to be available in May 2021 for a starting price of $349
- HP Z27q G3 QHD Display is expected to be available in January 2021 for a starting price of $399
- HP Z27u G3 QHD Display USB-C is expected to be available in March 2021 for a starting price of $449
- HP Z27k G3 4K USB-C Display is expected to be available in March 2021 for a starting price of $599.