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Backpack-friendly, pop-up display doubles as a short-throw projector

Backpack-friendly, pop-up disp...
The flexible, pop-up Arovia Splay can serve as a 24-inch Full HD second display when needed, and collapsed down into its protective carry case when not
The flexible, pop-up Arovia Splay can serve as a 24-inch Full HD second display when needed, and collapsed down into its protective carry case when not
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The flexible, pop-up Arovia Splay can serve as a 24-inch Full HD second display when needed, and collapsed down into its protective carry case when not
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The flexible, pop-up Arovia Splay can serve as a 24-inch Full HD second display when needed, and collapsed down into its protective carry case when not
The projection unit to the rear is home two dual speakers, a built-in battery, various controls and a connectivity interface
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The projection unit to the rear is home two dual speakers, a built-in battery, various controls and a connectivity interface
Pop up and power on as a second screen for work, HD movie screen, gaming monitor, or even a short-throw projector
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Pop up and power on as a second screen for work, HD movie screen, gaming monitor, or even a short-throw projector
A slider at the back reveals the projection unit while folding out the display
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A slider at the back reveals the projection unit while folding out the display
The Splay can connect to a laptop over HDMI, and can also serve as a powerbank for topping up a smartphone
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The Splay can connect to a laptop over HDMI, and can also serve as a powerbank for topping up a smartphone
If you don't have room in your campervan for a TV screen, the Splay can help ensure you don't miss your favorite shows while on the road
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If you don't have room in your campervan for a TV screen, the Splay can help ensure you don't miss your favorite shows while on the road
The Splay folds down into a supplied protective case that can be stuffed into a backpack between uses
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The Splay folds down into a supplied protective case that can be stuffed into a backpack between uses
The Splay can be connected to a wireless adapter such as Chromecast or Apple TV
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The Splay can be connected to a wireless adapter such as Chromecast or Apple TV
Mobile gamers can take a 24-inch display to a friend's house in a backpack
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Mobile gamers can take a 24-inch display to a friend's house in a backpack
The Splay comes supplied with a protective carry case
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The Splay comes supplied with a protective carry case
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Back in 2016, startup Arovia launched a portable display solution called SPUD that could be folded down and packed away for ease of transport between uses. Now the company is set to launch a brighter, higher-res, more compact follow up called Splay, and has added a neat projector mode too.

The SPUD – which stands for Spontaneous Pop-Up Display – essentially allowed a user to carry around a 24-inch, 720p-resolution monitor in a backpack, and then fold it out and power it up when needed as a second display for work, to watch movies at camp, or to play games at a friend's house. The Splay works about the same but the projection unit has been upgraded for a brighter, higher-resolution onscreen image, and the whole shebang is reported more compact and lightweight.

A slider at the back reveals the projection unit while folding out the display
A slider at the back reveals the projection unit while folding out the display

The pop-up display is kind of like a small inverted umbrella, with a projection screen stretched across the front. Folded down, it comes in a supplied hard case, and weighs in at 2.5 lb (1.1 kg). But push the slider on the back and the hood and screen expand to produce a CRT monitor-like shape out front and a projection unit to the rear.

The Splay display offers 24 diagonal inches at Full HD resolution, and its projection unit has onboard controls for manually adjusting focus, brightness tweaking and raising/lowering the volume of the built-in dual speakers, and there's a button to switch the unit between projector and display mode – as this unit can be detached from the hood/screen to throw bigger images up on a wall instead (up to 80 diagonal inches), with auto keystone correction helping with placement flexibility.

Pop up and power on as a second screen for work, HD movie screen, gaming monitor, or even a short-throw projector
Pop up and power on as a second screen for work, HD movie screen, gaming monitor, or even a short-throw projector

There's also a HDMI input for connecting to a laptop for work, a smartphone to watch videos or a games console for play, and a USB port that allows for usage as a powerbank to top up smartphones or for powering a wireless adapter such as Chromecast or Apple TV.

The integrated battery is reckoned good for up to four hours of use per charge, and the device can be connected to a wall outlet for topping up or longer productivity sessions via the USB-C port at the back.

If you don't have room in your campervan for a TV screen, the Splay can help ensure you don't miss your favorite shows while on the road
If you don't have room in your campervan for a TV screen, the Splay can help ensure you don't miss your favorite shows while on the road

As with SPUD, Arovia aims to raise production funds for the Splay system on Kickstarter, where more detailed specs and the production timeline will be revealed. Pledges will start at US$699 (down from a $1,299 expected retail price). The video below has more.

Splay launch signup at arovia.com/splaykickstarter

Source: Arovia

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1 comment
1 comment
Ralf Biernacki
This is an ingenious idea, and looks exciting at the first glance---just imagine, a large, hi-res screen as portable as a pocket umbrella! But there is a fly in the ointment, the same hobgoblin that haunts all rear-projection screens: image brightness, or more precisely, pathetic lack of image brightness. That's why they made this prototype relatively small. At first glance, they should have gone for a much larger screen, to really take advantage of the unfoldability. But they didn't, because if you were to spread the projection over a larger area, it would have been just too dim. Even as it is, things are bad. Note that the clips where they are showing actual moving pictures are all in strongly dimmed, twilit interiors. And the non-moving shots, like the woman seemingly using the device in an office, or the guy in the van parked on a street are all simulations, with a screen image photoshopped onto the photo. That's why they are still shots.

This is not an easily resolvable obstacle. It affects all compact projection equipment, and rear projectors most of all, and even with all the recent advances in cold light sources, still hasn't been solved satisfactorily. As exciting as this invention is, it is probably useless in a brightly light office interior, not to even mention outdoors. A pity.