Audience-driven Presentations Based on MindXpres

Type of Thesis: 
Master Thesis

With more than 30 million PowerPoint presentations that are created every single day, we are all familiar with modern presentation tools such as Microsoft's PowerPoint or Apple's Keynote. However, it is not difficult to see that most of these tools are based on the same essential ideas and thus share similar flaws and limitations. Our new MindXpres presentation tool takes a radically new approach to create, share and deliver presentations. By stepping away from current presentation standards and by designing our presentation tool to address the unfulfilled needs of the people involved with the presentations, we plan to make every single step in the process more enjoyable for both the presenter and the audience.

MindXpres separates content and visualisation, by providing a LaTeX-like language for the easy creation of content. This content is then automatically visualised by an HTML5 visualisation layer, which makes use of user-definable templates to provide a competitive aesthetic quality. MindXpres differentiates itself from existing slideware by providing some innovative features such as the plug-in architecture, extreme portability, support for multimodal input, semantic linking and navigation of information, non-linear traversal, a zoomable user interface, transclusion, interactivity, innovative ways of visualising specific types of information and much more.

Currently, modern presentation tools are very much presenter-oriented. Most of the features offered by existing tools help the presenter but not the audience. Additionally, in some cases presentations have a second life and will be used by the audience long after the presentation was given (e.g. class lecture slides that are also used as study material). We believe that the audience is equally important (if not more) and that tools should involve the audience more often, both during and after the actual presentation.
 
The goal of this thesis is to investigate how we can improve presentations to make the shift towards being audience-oriented, both during and after the presentation. Some examples of possible improvements include: 
  • Allow audience members to replay the navigation path as given by the presenter
  • Making  presentations  more  social  by  implementing  live  voting during  a  presentation (e.g.  via smartphones,  laptops or  other multimodal input)
  • Allow the presenter to upload their presentation to enable a forum-like discussions about slides
  • ...
Background Knowledge: 
  • Java
  • HTML5
Technical challenges: 
  • You will identify some areas where we can involve the audience and propose some ideas that will improve the presentation (e.g. make a presentation more interesting, interactive or simply facilitating the learning process). 
  • You will implement some of your ideas and extend the MindXpres presentation tool
Contact: 
Beat Signer
Academic Year: 
2012-2013