Sure there are portable monitors you can take along with you to increase the screen real estate of your laptop. You can even use your iPad as a second monitor with an app like Duet. But neither of those options will give you what you're really craving – a take-with-you display that expands to a full-sized monitor so you can get some serious work done when you're on the road. The Spontaneous Pop-Up Display (SPUD) from Arovia, exhibited at this week's South By Southwest Festival (SXSW), will be exactly that.
SPUD starts out about the size of an Apple TV, which means you really could tuck it away in your back pocket. Then, by simply unfolding the device, much like an umbrella, you wind up with a 24-inch high-resolution rear-projection screen that can receive input either through an HDMI cable or wirelessly, using the Intel's WiDi protocol.
The device only weighs about 1.5 lb (about 0.68 kilograms) and when it is completely collapsed it measures roughly 2.2 x 5.6 x 7.5 inches (about 5.6 x 14.2 x 19 cm). It can transform from pocket sized to desktop worthy in about one second, according to the inventor Alexander Wesley who founded the company Arovia to develop and market the idea.
The screen itself is made from a special vinyl composite that reportedly provides exceptional contrast and clarity. Initially, the SPUD will feature 1280 x 720 resolution which will increase as future iterations of the product are released.
Wesley received funding to develop the idea through a National Science Foundation accelerator grant while at Rice University in Houston. He developed the idea after traveling extensively for his job as a product manager and being frustrated by not having enough screen room to work with Powerpoint and Excel documents in his hotel room.
He will be launching a Kickstarter campaign in about a month to continue raising funds, to bring the idea to fruition. Wesley also says that he and his team of four at Arovia have been contacted by Google to help with promotion.
"It's really cool to see something that was in your head come into reality and know that there are other people who want to use it too," Wesley told Gizmag. "It's been super rewarding and I'm learning new things every day. I'm really grateful to even be at something like South By Southwest."
Wesley says the SPUD will retail in the US$300 range.
Product page: Arovia