You might have read about how the end of the tablet as we know it may soon be upon us, but the Superscreen might well be the answer. Tablets have suffered dwindling sales in the past few years, and this is because the corner of the market they used to own has been getting smaller and smaller. Smartphones have increased in capabilities and laptops have increased in versatility, which has meant that there is no longer a place in a lot of people’s lives for a $500 tablet as well.
Thankfully, someone has worked out that, although people may not want a tablet, they may yet possess some features that are useful and the could be accessed for a reasonable price. That is where Superscreen comes in; what makes this project exciting is that is builds off the processing capabilities of your phone and gives you the option to use a bigger screen and other features. So, what is a Superscreen?
Is Superscreen The Answer to the Recent Tablet Issues?
Superscreen is a project on Kickstarter that has destroyed its original goal of $50,000 and gone on to raise more than $1,800,000 in backing. It is a large 10-inch display that links to your phone, and can mirror what is displayed on your the screen, but in a bigger format. And the clincher? It does all of this wirelessly. This means that you can enjoy all the same functionality that your phone allows, transmitted seamlessly to the bigger, tablet-sized screen.
What this means is that you can keep the screen with you and use it only in the situations that require a larger display. This could be for watching videos, playing games, or to make your favourite apps more immersive. Tablets have struggled in the past couple of years because the price of having two top-of-the-range devices (your phone and tablet) is just not justifiable. Superscreen gives you the ability to harness pretty much all of the benefits of a tablet without actually needing a completely different device. What makes this idea so promising is that the processing ability of smartphones has rocketed in recent times. The main selling point of Samsung’s latest S8 model, after its edge-to-edge display, is its brand new processor. Similar improvements have come from most flagship phones, as that’s where there is the most room for improvement. This means that the modern phone is more than capable of handling the increased output that a large screen needs, and gives Superscreen its niche.
As with any new project, there are going to be some drawbacks. First off, and by far and away the most prominent problem, is that of the crowdfunding model. A lot of people see that an exciting new project is only available on Kickstarter and are immediately driven away. This stems from being burned by lot of flunked releases, like the recently reviewed Swimmo Watch, fidget cubes, and a heads-up bike helmet, which turned out to be a scam scheme. However, what Superscreen has going for it is that the technology used is incredibly simple. All this device does is mirror what is being shown on the screen of the phone, and transmit back the touchscreen input. This is technology that has existed for a long time, and has already been perfected. Similar technology has been used in PCs for decades, and the only difference here is the wireless connection.
The wireless connection is another major issue the screen could face. Though their main video Kickstarter video addresses the fact that the screen on your phone and the Superscreen act in tandem without lag, this is achieved by essentially delaying the image on the phone to account for the inherent lag in transmission. While this is not a problem at all for most functions, it could be an issue for games that are operated over the internet (offline games will be unaffected). So although this is a niche problem, the company will have to try and minimise the impact. However, no matter what they do, there will always be a difference in display time to overcome, regardless of technology.
Lastly is the shipping time. These screens are set to be shipped in December. However, in the world of tech, where you are competing against tech giants like Apple and Samsung, the best part of a year in delay can be an eternity. What Superscreen need to be sure of is that they are able to ship exactly when planned, and when they do, that the product is top rate. Otherwise you can all but guarantee a big name brand will swoop in and release a polished and possibly more refined version, which could kick the original out in no time. It’s always nice to see new companies come into the market and fill a niche that others have not considered until now, but it’s all too easy to underestimate the speed of the leading players in the industry. You can bet your bottom dollar they’re watching this campaign with keen interest, especially with its $1.7m backing profile.