While we all love the easy portability of our smartphones and tablets, there are times when their small screens are just too fiddly. Or perhaps our fingers are just too big. Luckily, the innovative minds at Arovia in Houston, Texas, have come up with a solution: an inflatable, high-resolution pop-up display that will attach to your devices and let you see everything clearly.
They call it the Spontaneous Pop-up Display, or SPUD, and they claim it’s “the only high-resolution, 24-inch display with the awesome benefit of ultra-portability.” When it’s packed, it is about the size and weight of a paperback book; pop it open, and it poufs up into a sturdy screen. (Hopefully it folds back into itself more easily than a tent–we’ve had some awkward experiences with those.) Check out the inflation process here.
SPUD won a National Science Foundation grant earlier this year, and it’s obvious that the product has hit a nerve with consumers, too: It passed its crowd-funding target in a mere 35 minutes! Now Arovia is setting its sights on its next goal, and if it hits that, it will build a speaker into SPUD. Other items on the development wish list include extending the unit’s battery life.
Some size stats: The SPUD opens up to 21 inches wide, 11 inches high and 14 inches deep, or about the size of a regular desktop monitor, and the designers say this works out to be almost four times more screen area than you have on a 13-inch laptop and a whopping 23 times more screen area than a 5.1-inch smartphone. Don’t believe us? Take a look at how the SPUD displays the screen of a smartphone.
And a couple of tech stats: The SPUD’s screen aspect ratio is 16:9; native resolution is 1280 x 720, DLP. You can run it off its battery, which lasts three hours, or from an electric outlet.
SPUD travels with its own protective case, and the monitor can be washed if you spill coffee or whatever on it. Not only that, since it is made from a flexible polymer that can’t get cracked or chipped, it’s a reliable travel companion. And of course the lightweight fabric helps keep the weight down so it’s easy to tote. In fact, the whole shebang weighs less than two pounds and can be tossed in your backpack or briefcase.
While magnified viewing is certainly a major feature of SPUD, its uses go beyond that. Tech types could use it as a second screen when they’re working; outdoors fans can pitch SPUD along with their tent and watch movies under the stars; salespeople who are on the road for work could use SPUD as a display screen to share product info on business calls or at conferences.
You can connect SPUD to your devices via Wi-Fi or by using an HDMI cable.
Home uses include creating a large screen for video-games and displaying online videos such as cooking programs or demos of how to repair things–much easier than toggling between videos on your teeny phone screen and the project that’s demanding your full attention.