Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My personal Macworld 2009 highlight…

While everyone seems to focus on the relative lack of news coming from today’s Macworld keynote I’m personally quite intrigued by one of the things shown off there: the Keynote remote app. This small app allows you to control Keynote slide-shows via your iPhone / iPod touch.

[photo via Engadget]

I’ve done a handful of presentations about OLPC in 2008 and have therefore spent some time thinking about the best way to give these kinds of talks. One thing that personally always bugs me when watching presentations (mostly at university) is the person giving the talk being hidden behind his/her notebook. The most popular alternative, walking around and then returning to the notebook to switch to the next slide, isn’t all that great either. Plus I’ve given at least one presentation where my notebook had to be hooked up to the beamer all the way in the back of the room which would have made switching to the next slide a real pain in the rear.

Remote controls to the rescue! While the Macintosh owners out there have been able to use the small Front Row remote included with their computers for this purpose for quite some time the majority of users (myself included) have to look for alternatives elsewhere. After some research I stumbled across the Nokia Wireless Presenter which gives me some basic controls over my slideshows via my Symbian S60 mobile phone connected to my laptop via Bluetooth.

However looking at the photos  of the Keynote remote app I can’t help but feel somewhat jealous. Having things like the notes to the current slide on there for example is a really nice feature. Other useful information I can think of would be a timer to tell you how long you’ve spoken and some of the other things you get to see when you use the presenter’s mode on Keynote or PowerPoint. Because what’s the point of having a remote if you have to walk back to look at your laptop’s screen for all that other information?

So, Apple, please also make the Keynote remote app work with Windows and PowerPoint. I’d even pay for such an app!


echion said...

wiimotes for presentation control:

ChristophD said...

Thanks for the heads-up, I'll definitely check out that presentation!