Emaze looks to replace PowerPoint and Prezi as the premier presentation platform for small/midsize businesses and private users
Presentations have become an essential tool these days, both inside and outside of business. Whether its creating presentations for school or for the office, presentations make up a critical component in the process of communicating ideas to a target audience, as well as to impress upon them an image about the presenter; creative, professional, etc.
And yet, within the world of presentations, the technology has changed very little in recent years. Today, there are two key tools for creating presentations. One is of course Microsoft PowerPoint, the software behind 93% of presentations. PowerPoint has been part of the Microsoft Office suite for 20 years, and in the course of this time, not much has changed conceptually with their product. It remains the same tool that presents customized slides, one after the other. The second is Prezi, a Hungarian startup whose popularity has grown quickly over the past two years, boasting a million users a month. Prezi brings a slightly different concept to the notion of presentations.
Looking for an alternative to Power Point
Into this world steps Emaze, which allows users to create spectacular visual presentations, simply and fast.
Moti Nisani CEO, says that the market is thirsty for new ways to produce and give over presentations. People are tired of PowerPoint and they’re looking for a viable alternative. The market potential is huge. According to Nisani, about 500 million people worldwide create presentations each year and roughly 30 million new presentations are created every day.
Emaze’s main competition, is in fact, Prezi. Nisani argues that Prezi is not easy to use. He says it takes a long time to learn the system and to familiarize oneself with all the features. According to Nisani, Prezi isn’t designed for ordinary users, but rather those who are already more technologically oriented. Slideshow Builder software is an activity that can take a long time. Also, Prezi presentations are not quite 3-dimensional, but actually more like 2.5 dimensional, to use the jargon. In addition, there isn’t much freedom when it comes to Prezi presentations; for example, if you want to prepare a Power Point style presentation (slide after slide) you can’t do it using Prezi software.
Demonstration: here’s is a simple presentation I made in 5 minutes:
Emaze caters to a more basic user base, mainly those who currently use PowerPoint and want better results and more visualization. One of the biggest benefits of Emaze is its ease of use. A user can easily build sophisticated presentations with little effort. The company’s vision was to free up users from having to spend time studying and preparing the presentation tool, so that they can better spend their time concentrating on the actual content of the presentation, letting the system take care of the design and effects.
You’re responsible for the content, Emaze takes care of the rest
Emaze allows users to choose from a variety of templates with built in HTML5 technology, ranging from PowerPoint style presentations, to 3-dimensional patterns, made possible by the advanced graphical capabilities of the system. After registering online to the beta version of their site, users can select a desired master template to create their presentation, which as of this writing, consists of five possible patterns; two 3-dimensional and three 2-dimensional frameworks. Nissani says that the company will produce approximately 10 new master templates each month. Templates will be free, allowing users and designers to treat them as a base from which to expand upon and create their own independent templates, which can then be turned around and sold through Emaze.
Presentations of the site editor are contextual, meaning Editor buttons are displayed relevant to the actions that the user is able to execute at that moment. Currently, there’s no flexibility in choosing colors or elements. Nissani claims the lack of options helps direct the user to create the perfect presentation for their needs, requiring less overall work and effort. After saving a presentation, in the cloud, users can view it online or download it as an HTML file to display locally. Additionally, users can share their presentation and include it as an <iframe> tag in Web pages.
The main drawback, at least for now, appears to be the fact that Emaze presentations will not work smoothly on older computers with low computing power, but the company is quick to add that an optimization process will soon allow three-dimensional presentations to run well, even on less elaborate computers systems.
Currently in free beta, soon Freemium
Emaze is running its beta version at the present, so all features are included. Once Emaze passes their beta stage, the company will switch to a Freemium model in which users will have the option to create up to 10 presentations free, with the company logo imprinted on the presentation, and the presentation will be available to the general public. For two dollars a month, users can make private presentations for a select audience, use their own logo and access the Emaze support team, for a maximum of up to 10 presentations. For five dollars a month, users can build as many presentations as they like, without any restrictions.
Emaze was founded by Moti Nisan, Shai Schwartz and Dr. Arie Livshin. The company has raised 3 million NIS in investment from the incubator known as TheTime. Their stated goal is to reach 30 million active users in two years and bring in approximately $50M a year in revenue. Their target market is mainly private users and small to medium sized enterprises.