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Bringing Ideas on the Move onto Interactive Boards

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January 30, 2012Apps World1 Comment

In the weeks that lead up to the Christmas of 2011, Hungarian cloud-based presentation tool Prezi received a fresh US$ 14 million round of investment from Accel Partners and Sunstone Capital, testament to its growing popularity of 7 million and growing users. And wide adoption meant service such as Spain’s Prezitations, which provides customised Prezi files for expressive clients.

Prezi is a “web-based presentation application and storytelling tool that uses a single canvas instead of traditional slides.” It features a canvas where users are free to insert and edit whatever text or graphics without margin limits, and further expand individual ideas without limit. Imagine a presentation where everybody stares down onto a single touchscreen, where you can zoom and rotate that single screen to explain everything, without browsing through slides and tonnes of paperwork.

Quoting Ciara Byrne, “Prezi is one those rare startups which actually has revenue,” being in positive cashflow since 2010. With steady increases in demand from both Asia and Europe, the Company, which expects a doubling of growth well into 2012, plans to use the funding to accelerate growth and develop more local-oriented products. Already its inventory includes Prezi Desktop for offline editing, PreziMeeting for real-time collaboration, and the Prezi Viewer for the iPad.

With contemporary trends gearing towards providing liberal working hours, it’s evident that flow and mnemonics stand as the twin ideals in managing people and ideas.

Placing practicality into its cloud-based note-making is Trello. For one, it helps to track workflow and progress. It’s also visual, working like a memo pad where one can place attachments and updates into a single drag-and-drop card. Perhaps the very point of its usefulness alludes to Trello being a one-stop announcement centre to communicate with employers, employees and co-workers.

Back when National Geographic made curious mention of the e-paper, an electronic material deemed to supplant papers portable nature and versatility with a synthetic material capable of being erased, updated and used all over again, intelligent presentation has come a long way.

A late 2011 article by Byrne mentioned Prezi’s power of non-linearity, where all elements of a presentation, pictures, keywords and videos can be thrown onto the same surface as a single interactive board. Users are able to manipulate space during their presentations, by adding endless details at the click of a zoom.

Eventually, readers would be encouraged to dig more into details of their choosing, by just glancing on relevant titles heads. Some novel applications of the tool include Prezume, a resume created using the tool. And with premium membership, Prezi users are better able to restrict access to their copyrights, paying for privacy.

And it seems Prezi has sparked a competitive race in the area of cloud-based interaction. Equaling in prestige is Pearltree, by fellow European startup from France. Much like Prezi, contents can be organised into tiny circles called pearls, which in turn could belong to larger pearls, forming a zoomable pearltree, which can be further linked to other sites. Combining the functionalities of Trello, users are also able to commit on projects collaboratively. Since mid 2011, the startup behind this site has amassed 3.8 euros in funding, while achieving 10 million pageviews, as lauded by VentureBeat.

Reliance on users may well be the single most practical way of getting by, as the popular Evernote noted sustained uptake of their cloud-based note-taking service after an initial dropoff of users that have sign up for a month. As users grow dependant, some one-fifth of Evernote’s oldest customers are paying for the premium version of the site, equaling to 750,000 users.

Pinning its way onto the board is Pinterest, which users peaked to 3 million by the start of 2011. The very users have made the app viral just by sharing photos, considering it being unconstrained as a platform on the web, mobile and PC, and as an app itself. Since inception on January 2012, the invite-only site has proven popular in work and pleasure, enabling the pinning of pictorial ideas, shopping guides and inspirational diagrammes on a virtual board. And like Pearltree, Canada’s Tigidi is coming up fierce as a competitor, spinning off much of it’s services from Pinterest.

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  • http://ridiculouslyefficient.com @efficient

    Great post — and thanks for the Ridiculously Efficient link!