PowerPoint and Presenting Stuff

SlideDog Beta: Conversation with Dag Hendrik Lerdal

Dag Hendrik Lerdal is a 29 year old entrepreneur and Software Engineer with an MSc in Communication Technology living in Trondheim, Norway. After finishing his Master’s degree at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, he co-founded Preseria AS in 2008. The company develops technology and services related to planning, administration, execution and publishing of digital presentations in context of seminars, meetings and conferences. Learn more about Dag from his LinkedIn profile.

In this conversation, Dag discusses the new SlideDog site.

Geetesh: What is SlideDog, and what motivated you to create this product?

Dag: SlideDog is a multimedia presentation player for speakers, event organizers and meeting planners. It enables you to seamlessly switch between presentation files such as PowerPoints, PDFs, movies, images, web-pages, Prezis, and other documents. SlideDog features a simple user interface where you simply drag your files into a playlist and organize them according to your presentation or event. SlideDog will launch the files in the playlist in fullscreen without displaying the computer desktop or application specific loading screens to the viewers, enabling smooth transitions between files and presentations. SlideDog uses a PowerPoint like multi-monitor output to provide meta-information to the speaker. It is able to show a normal presentation window on one screen, while showing a more sophisticated overview on the other one providing information like thumbnails of the next slides, slide notes and timers. Soon you’ll also be able to use your smart phone to control SlideDog remotely and view presenter notes directly on your phone.

About what motivated us to create this project — it was first and foremost, all the unnecessary delays we experienced as university students during various meetings, seminars, and group presentations. Meeting leaders and presenters rarely had a good routine for switching between speakers or different types of presentation files. We often saw lecturers showing their cluttered desktop and personal desktop background to the whole audience. The focus was immediately drawn away from the presentation and instead towards the funny dog on his or her desktop. After seeing these things happen countless number of times, we thought that there had to be an easy way to do this more professional and seamlessly. We did some research and except for expensive hardware solutions using advanced switches and multiple computers, we didn’t find anything good, so we decided to make something ourselves.

Geetesh: How much will SlideDog cost when it is out of beta, and do you want to share any user feedback?

Dag: We haven’t decided the pricing model just yet, but SlideDog will likely come in a free and a Pro version. The Pro version will cost about $99 for a single computer license. Some users have already requested online and collaborative features, and if we decide to implement this, the pricing model might also include a subscription based fee.

We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback since we launched last Friday. People have e-mailed us and told us that they are going to start using SlideDog regularly in their lectures. We have a couple of firms who are already using it at their board meetings to be more effective and we’ve also gotten a couple of very useful bug-reports that we are working hard to fix until the next release. A lot of people seem to want a Mac version, and we hope to get this done by the time we’re out of beta.

You can download the latest SlideDog beta here.

Categories: interviews, online_presentations, powerpoint

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