Meet the SPUD: A 24-inch collapsible hi-res screen that you can open like an umbrella

Part projector, part display, the SPUD is aiming to the be the ultimate portable desktop screen.

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The SPUD portable display.

Image: Arovia

If you need a second display and want it to be portable, the SPUD, or Spontaneous Pop-Up Display, could be for you.

The SPUD, which is launching via a Kickstarter campaign, packs a battery-powered projector and screen in a collapsible design that opens like an umbrella. When closed, it's about the size of a book and weighs 2 lbs (900 grams). Pull back the projector, which shoots the image from the rear, and the SPUD's polymer screen opens like an umbrella to serve as a 24-inch display.

Sony released its short throw projector earlier this year, which isn't limited to viewing in dark rooms, but it costs $1,000 and you still need to find a suitable surface to display the image.

The SPUD, which costs $374 under the early bird offer, promises to support wired HDMI connections or it can be connected wirelessly to streaming devices such as Roku and Chromecast.

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The brightness dial can be adjusted between 350 and 785 nits to suit soft lighting conditions or a brightly lit office. Disconnected from a power source, it's claimed to last between three to six hours, depending on the brightness of the projection. The image is displayed at 1280 x 720 pixel resolution and SPUD's maker claims its polymer display won't wrinkle after folding.

SPUD's developers, Arovia, estimate it will cost $499 once it's available at retail. The campaign has currently raised just over $190,000, enabling the firm to commit to adding stereo speakers to the device. If funding reaches $250,000, the company promises to boost the battery life from 6 hours to 10 hours.

Arovia has also teamed up with Andromium, which made a version of Android that turns a smartphone into a laptop, to show off how the two can pair to become a mobile desktop system.

The company suggests its pop-up display could be a useful addition to a road warrior's travel kit and ideal for presenting at conferences or trade shows. Alternatively, it could be useful to show movies on camping trips or as a backseat display while driving.

Arovia has also set up its portable display with an Intel Compute Stick, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Raspberry Pi.

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