Ever gotten so frustrated by the technical difficulties of a presentation that you wanted to bang your head against the wall? Thankfully this startup may change all that.
Even though presentations are an integral part of the corporate world, most presentation software remains outdated and clunky. Anyone that’s been to school or a professional training in the last decade (i.e., a lot of people) has undoubtedly suffered from the all too common technical difficulties that accompany presentations, which often leave a speaker struggling with slides and graphics that won’t show. That’s where Voiceboard comes in.
Voiceboard, which launched recently at the Financial Times Innovate 2014 event, is the world’s first voice and gesture controlled presentation tool, and aims to change the way we give presentations.
Voice and gesture controlled presentations
Instead of relying on a clicker or keyboard, a presentation can be controlled with voice commands and the movement of a finger with Voiceboard. The tool consists of a microphone and gesture controlled ring that connects via bluetooth. These enable a presenter to give a presentation naturally by simply asking for the content they want to appear on screen. With a simple gesture tool, the gesture controlled ring makes it possible to move from slide to slide. In addition, there’s the option to build dynamic and highly engaging presentations, which include built-in 3D models, live web pages and maps.
“We believe we will help people to think differently about their presentations, encouraging engaging and interactive conversations between presenter, audience and the technology itself,” Tigran Hakobyan, Voiceboard project coordinator, told Geektime. The tool takes seconds to setup and even works with Powerpoint. After creating a presentation, you would simply import it. Voiceboard then converts the file into a compatible format that works with its software. All that’s left to do before presenting is to connect the microphone and gesture controlled ring.
The alternative we’ve been waiting for?
Voiceboard positions itself as a convenient alternative to traditional presentation software, and in many ways it does solve the major drawbacks presenters have been struggling with for years.
“I felt like my slide presentation was controlling me instead of helping me to get my message across. What if I could tell my story without breaking my train of thought to change slides? What if I could just wave my hand and it would happen? Better still, what if we could just ask the computer to show what I wanted, when I wanted?” Nigel Sharp, Voiceboard CEO, explained to Geektime.
Funding and future scenarios
In addition to launching this month, Voiceboard’s Kickstarter campaign also went live. The team hopes to crowdsource $45,000 and with 32 days to go, they have already raised more than half their goal.
For a pledge of $450, you can enjoy early bird access to the tool, which is expected to ship in January 2015. There are also several other perks, which include access to Voiceboard by February 2015 for a pledge of $550 or more as well as the corporate package for a pledge of $1,000 or more. This includes the Voiceboard toolkit, battery pack and charger travel adapter. The tool is expected to retail for $599.
The tool was created by Lionsharp, an Armenia-based startup that launched in 2013. Founded by Nigel Sharp, Gevorg Hovsepyan, Alessandro Mambelli and Lilit Revazian, the team is diverse and consists of people from all over the world. The company has already raised $560,000 from the Eleven Accelerator Venture Fund, an Angel investor and the HIVE Start Virtual Accelerator. This is a first for an Armenian startup, and the team hopes Voiceboard will put the Armenian tech scene on the map.
It’s exciting and refreshing to see technological innovation coming out of Armenia, especially when you consider that no other product on the market, including Powerpoint, Prezi and Keynote, have a similar offering. And with the backing of celebrities like Dan Meryer, the world famous sword swallower and TEDx speaker, and Ivan Hernandez of The Digital Loop, it seems Voiceboard is off to a promising start.