LAS VEGAS--Yes, this is a camera show, but as the PCs reporter, I couldn't help but notice that Hewlett-Packard had a distinct presence outside its own booth here.
Several companies were using HP's touch-screen desktop PC, the TouchSmart, loaded with their own software to let PMA attendees try out photo-printing solutions, and retail store kiosk software.
Digilabs, which makes free software for printing photo books and calendars, was using the touch-screen desktop to demonstrate its software. DNP Photo also had TouchSmarts in its booth to show how its Tomo software works. Tomo lets users upload photos online at home and then print them at a retail location.
Also spied was Storefront.com, which had a half-dozen TouchSmarts available for use. Storefront.com makes software for retail store printing kiosks as well, and is hardware-neutral, according to a representative for the company. It's the first time Storefront.com has used the TouchSmart to demo its product, but the employee said they're likely to use it again since it's "relatively cheap" compared with commercial kiosks.
It's certainly not "relatively cheap" for a desktop PC. HP has heavily promoted the TouchSmart as a family PC, for use in rooms like the kitchen by suburban moms. Desktops in general are a dying form factor for PC makers, so maybe this consumer-oriented computer has a chance at a second career as a commercial PC.