New "smart tray" for airline travelers with tablets


by Tami Hoey

Posted on December 19, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 19 at 10:18 AM

PHOENIX --  It’s a good bet that many travelers this busy holiday season will be using some kind of technology during their flight.

Now, a Valley inventor has come up with a way to make things easier for travelers with tablets.

It’s a new “Smart Tray”, which offers more room for you to use your tablet  while flying the friendly skies.

Seasoned travelers say it gets frustrating when there’s no room for anything else on your tray but your tablet.

“Whenever the food or beverage comes, they usually have to put their tablet away,” says traveler Maryelle Ramsey.

Enter Valley inventor Nick Pajic, who noticed travelers struggling with the limited space on the tray table. That triggered his idea for the Smart Tray. It’s a simple idea of adding a slot in airplane trays to allow people to prop up their tablets.

“When you do put a tablet in the groove, it gives you all this real estate back,” says Pajic, the CEO of Smart Tray, International. “So it gives the passenger the tray table back.”

According to consumer experts, 107 million tablets were sold this year. So when Pajic introduced his tray at a trade show, the industry was hooked.

“They would look at our tray table, they would smile and say, Wow, I wish I invented that.” said Pajic.

Smart Tray is already in discussions with several airlines domestically and internationally.

And with 20 thousand planes in use across the globe, that could mean big business for the valley.

“This is my home, this is where we see a lot of potential to grow and help the local economy,” Pajic tells us. “I see more and more people using the tablet for work so it'll become a necessity for them to make space for it.”

Pajic hopes to have Smart Trays on planes by the first quarter of next year.

But like any great inventor, he's already working on a different version of the tray called the "X-2." That tray comes already equipped with a tablet, and would be similar to the screens already seen on planes.