Don Brittain is CEO and a founder of Instant Effects, a California company that develops software to visually enhance presentations, communications, and collaboration.
In this conversation, Don discusses the new v5.6 release of Instant Effects Presenter.
Geetesh: You announced a new 5.6 update of your Instant Effects software -– tell us more about the new abilities.
Don: Many of our Presenter customers produce high-end events that require capabilities that go well beyond standard PowerPoint or video-based presentation techniques. For example, Presenter supports moving backgrounds with smooth transitions, stereoscopic 3D output, ultra-wide screen multi-projector configurations, and picture-in-a-picture techniques that can be used to embed live video or speaker presentations into a broader visual context.
While these capabilities meet many needs, modern media is becoming more interactive and dynamic. With the rise in popularity of touch-screen devices like smart phones and tablets, people now expect media to be more expressive and exploratory.
Thus, the v5.6 update of Presenter was designed to support the creation and delivery of fully interactive presentations. It’s now possible to create and drive presentations that respond in some fairly amazing ways to interactive input (touch, mouse, and gamepad input, for example) while still leveraging our support for stereo 3D, ultra-wide aspect ratios, and video-intensive presentation techniques.
This is especially important in the context of teaching, training, and product promotion. Interactive media is more engaging, which in turn increases excitement, cognition and retention. And because Presenter has always been based on a real-time 3D multi-media software foundation, our new interaction techniques fit in naturally with the other benefits offered by previous versions of our platform.
Geetesh: Does your product continue working within PowerPoint? Also tell us more about improvements in this area.
Don: Yes, Presenter is first and foremost a PowerPoint plug-in. This allows the presentation author to work in a familiar environment for initial design and layout work. After that, Presenter adds in the moving backgrounds, transitions, and interactive media components.
But the process is very much iterative. Our tight integration with PowerPoint means that it’s natural to iterate on all components of the presentation, right up until “show time”. And because Presenter is a real-time system, there are no long compile or render requirements — last minute changes are easy and instant to implement.
Version 5.6 of Presenter builds on this tight PowerPoint connection. Indeed, pop-up user-interfaces used to drive dynamic media are authored in PowerPoint, offering direct support for things like fade-out panels, toggle buttons, virtual touchpads, and sliders. And thanks to the PowerPoint connection, it is easy and quick to make changes to interaction techniques and UI layout right up until the last minute.
Despite the tight PowerPoint connection, most viewers would be quite surprised to find out that what they are watching originated in PowerPoint!