In this conversation, Greg talks about his new device called the miniFreeze and how it allows you to do some amazing stuff while presenting.
Geetesh: What is the miniFreeze, and what is its reason for existence?
Greg: The miniFreeze was created to bring the elegance and professionalism of the larger, more technically advanced general session events to smaller, single laptop and projector type events.
Normally, these venues are given very informal treatment. I’ve always thought this was due to the fact that there weren’t simple low cost alternatives to the larger, more expensive switchers that offered the capability of freezing the screen while launching new applications. In many cases, the set-up described above can be found in larger, more formal events when previewing upcoming slides would be a welcome confirmation, yet this possibility is unavailable once the event is under way. It can be quite uncomfortable for a presenter to display his desktop, search for files, launch DVD’s, etc., with a room full of interested attendees.
Geetesh: Typically devices like the miniFreeze are used in large gatherings and conventions, where there are separate AV folks taking care of everything – yet the miniFreeze makes it possible for almost anyone to get that sort of control – do share your thoughts on this observation.
Greg: You just described my thoughts, Geetesh! It’s about giving people control. On numerous occasions, I found myself in situations where the idea was to plug the laptop directly into the projector and simply follow the script with no deviation. At one rather formal event, the gender of an award winner walking to the stage didn’t match that of the name being displayed on the screen and blindly advancing to the next slide from that point on caused quite a bit anxiety, as well as unwanted, frantic and very visible shuffling through slides on the screen.
There are a few environments, like churches, where the operators are nervous, just by virtue of being in that position and they feel much more confident previewing upcoming slides before taking the advance. Deviations from the script are much more easily managed when you can freeze the main screen and search the presentation to catch up with real time events. But beyond that, for more advanced productions, a laptop equipped with Playback Pro or Camtasia Studio, for example, in combination with a miniFreeze, can emulate the look of a large format switcher and bring that level of elegance to the smaller (or less well-funded) venues.