Recently The Economist wrote an article explaining the Prophets of Zooming Presentations and here we will read a preview.
The article comments about the case where 82 seconds after the space shuttle Columbia lifted off, a piece of foam insulation weighing less than a kilogram broke off its fuel tank and hit the left wing. This happened time ago in 16th 2003. In this case, Bosses at America’s space agency, NASA, were largely reassured by a subsequent presentation delivered by the “debris assessment” team.
You can also read the opinion of Lisa Jasper who wrote in The future of PowerPoint an interesting article with her points of view about all this move of zooming presentations, also known as ZUIs (pronounced zoo-ees) and involving tools like Prezi.
The thing is that in this Columbia case the powerpoint tool was blamed when actually it is just a tool. They said that before giving a talk, a presenter can pick waypoints on the canvas to be visited in sequence by pressing a button, with smooth pans, zooms and rotations from one to the next.
As an alternative, they said that Prezi can also free presenters from the predetermined sequence epitomised by a “deck” of Slides. A speaker can “fly” over the canvas, using spatial memory to access information when it is needed.
Nobody knows if using Prezi the disaster could be prevented and in fact there is no scientific reason to blame powerpoint.
Read the full story in The Economist and Lisa’s opinion in The Future of powerpoint. Photo from The Economist.