There's a new trend emerging in computing that could breathe new life and some badly needed excitement back to the Desktop once again. The trend involves integrating advanced 3D scanners and projectors into the desktop so that artists of every stripe could unleash their creativity in ways once thought unimaginable. HP just released a next-gen desktop computer that incorporates these technologies and they call it Sprout. This week we discovered a Sony patent filing at the U.S. Patent Office that takes this HP-like concept but applies it to a next-generation video conferencing system experience. It uses a similar tower camera/scanner approach as HP's Sprout does to allow users to share documents, graphics and more in real time with a colleague having a similar system. Sony's system also differs from the HP system in that it utilizes large transparent desktop displays that add a measure of realism to the whole conferencing experience so that you'll swear that the person you're conferencing with is in the same room as you. While today's report covers the basics of Sony's patent, it's really about seeing the bigger picture of where this new trend may be going. Some really refreshing ideas are beginning to surface about the future of the desktop – and it's certainly about time.