Electronics

SPUD puts a 24-inch display in your back pocket

SPUD puts a 24-inch display in...
The SPUD promises ultra-sharp images made by rear projection on a vinyl-composite screen
The SPUD promises ultra-sharp images made by rear projection on a vinyl-composite screen
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The SPUD rear-projector unit
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The SPUD rear-projector unit
The SPUD promises ultra-sharp images made by rear projection on a vinyl-composite screen
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The SPUD promises ultra-sharp images made by rear projection on a vinyl-composite screen
When folded, the SPUD will be about the size of an Apple TV, or a really chunky smartphone
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When folded, the SPUD will be about the size of an Apple TV, or a really chunky smartphone
The SPUD is supposed to open up in just one second when it's unfolded
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The SPUD is supposed to open up in just one second when it's unfolded
The rear of the SPUD unit
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The rear of the SPUD unit

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

12 comments
Chuck Anziulewicz
What am I missing here? I see what appears to be a projector, but where is that screen coming from? Does it INFLATE?
GeorgeZhu
OMG this will be perfect for my friends and myself during tailgates.
Max
Great idea! I NEED this screen... can't wait for the Kickstarter!
adam.w
Absolutely love this idea. I'm actually out of town right now and would love to have a 2nd monitor that could easily travel w/ me, very cool.
AlexanderWesley
Hey Chuck, this is Alex (from the article). It works similarly to an umbrella.
calvinkid
Seems to be the same as a camera flash foldable diffuser/softbox, but with a projector replacing the flash. :)
BenjaminGreen
While a neat idea, there are other more robust solutions, ie https://www.asus.com/us/Monitors/MB169BPlus/
canderso
Looks like a great addition for camping when its raining out. My little tablet screens hurt my eyes after a while.
Chuck Anziulewicz
ALEX: I would appreciate seeing a video of that "umbrella display" opening.