Beijing based start-up SoftCompass are going straight for the big guns and are aiming squarely at Microsoft’s PowerPoint with their own presentation app for Windows 8 SlideIdea.
Starting out in any business is tough. Starting out in the fast paced technology business is difficult. Trying to do it one of the most innovative markets in the world is nearly impossible. Well what about trying to take on Microsoft at the same time. Seems crazy right? Well not to Beijing start-up SoftCompass who have nearly completed their app SlideIdea to work on Windows 8 phone and tablet based OS.
So what is SlideIdea, is it just a Chinese version of PowerPoint that works on a tablet which will have a full version of PowerPoint on it anyway?
The answer is no not even close it is specifically designed for tablet OS unlike PowerPoint and Apples Keynote that are squished onto devices. It moves away from rigid click to next slide we have come to love. SoftCompass have realised something Microsoft has failed to. It allows the audience to become a part of the presentation. All the audience needs is a smartphone and the app installed, with this they can participate in audience voting, message the speaker or ask the speaker a question.
I know what you are thinking this can be done without an app why replace putting your hand up and asking. Well this doesn’t interrupt the speaker they get a notification with the questions or message on their tablet. Even worse you could go to a university like mine that loves to survey students on everything. Which means handing out hundreds of photocopies and naively expecting them all back in one piece. With this app you can set up a survey with a few simple tick boxes and questions and the data is already then recorded digitally to analyse. But what I like most is the potential to form social network around a presentation to share ideas and feedback.
Sensibly they have made it compatible with PowerPoint because let’s face it is by far the best presentation tool. This means a PowerPoint can be dragged into SlideIdea to be edited and presented. Then the same file can be shared and it will still open in PowerPoint.
SoftCompass say “SlideIdea is a re-invented presentation tool for the mobile era” and it is. I can’t wait for this to become popular and make lectures less about 2 hours of someone talking at you. Why Windows 8 platform though it literally has no market share. They did it solely on the fact they received a developer token for Windows 8 though hasn’t stopped them developing an Android and iOS which available later on.
Finally I will be using this on both my Android and Windows device when I get to test it out but sadly I can’t see it latching on and changing presentations any time soon though I hope I am wrong.