"I won't make you click": exploring the potential of presentation on mobile

In one of my Master’s module, I designed and developed a script to display presentations on mobile devices (typically a smart-phone with a Web browser). The presentation was a simplified HTML file with all the slides stacked one on top of the other, each one displayed in full screen. It took me quite a long time to find a way to enable users to navigate through those slides and to get it to work on one device. Basically the world of mobile browser is a horrible mess, even when trying to work with Webkit based browsers, I was still facing some strange behaviors in the way events were handled.

I did manage to have it work on Android few days before the hand-in date of the project and realized that the result was not that impressive. In a corner of my brain there was the idea of using a mobile device to control a projected presentation. That seemed cool. So in 24 hours I read through the documentation of cometD, set up a server and hacked into the code (only the client side part) to get a functional prototype. It turned out that it was not only cool as my teachers thought that this was the main purpose of my project.

Anyway, time has passed and the cometD server no longer works, so I can’t produce any video to demonstrate it. However, while watching a video of Mozilla’s design challenge, I realized that my script required to tap the screen at least twice to navigate, when using only the native scroll of the browser was far enough! So I produced the first prototype of ToDoSo. Go ahead, give it a try. It won’t bite and I won’t even make you click!

I hope that this feature is not only cool, but also useful:

A presentation-assisted talk is in most case given in front of an audience, with the presentation projected in the back of the speaker. To be able to refer to his/her presentation, the speaker can use a remote control, which allows for moving freely but requires to turn back and look at the screen. Alternatively, the speaker can stand in front of a computer, allowing him/her to face the audience while restraining his/her movements.

A mobile device could take the best of both world if it was able to display a presentation to the speaker and control the slides faced by the audience.