It’s no suprise the phrase “death by PowerPoint” exists. For me, most presentations tend towards the David Brent end of the spectrum, achieving little more than accurately illustrating – sometimes actually amplifying – the dullness of the subject matter. Projecting interesting material can be exceedingly distracting, while repeating the words you are saying in bullet points on screen, I think, just reduces the impact of your message. And I’ve certainly noted an ironic cheer from London to Rome to Helsinki to Istanbul every single time I’ve presented my PowerPoint-free talks.
That said, if you’re out and about giving a necessary business presentation, this new portable pico-projector beats anything else I’ve seen because it offers something quite unique – you and two or three others can interact with what’s being projected using a Teflon-tipped stylus, or waving the stylus around just in front of the image. Alternatively, from a few metres away, people can externally share the presentation using the included air mouse, or type onto it with a Bluetooth keyboard.
The Touchjet Pond, which was born of a successful campaign on funding platform Indiegogo (it raised $1m from more than 3,000 investors) is, in effect, a way of turning any white wall, ceiling or tabletop into a giant communal Android tablet – as big as 80in diagonally, although it becomes a bit blurry and dark at anything above 50in. (Running it from the mains rather than the two-hour battery boosts the light level, but you still need moderately dimmed room lighting to get the full benefit of the machine.)
With 800,000 Android apps available for the Pond, from business aids to games and movie players, it clearly has the ability to make a splash at work and at home. You can also show material saved on a USB pen.
With interactive whiteboards costing around £2,000, plus complex setup and maintenance, the £600 Pond is a relatively cheap way of showing your presentation. But it’s not just that; the office whiteboard will typically be in one fixed spot, while the Pond can be set up in a moment anywhere on your premises, or out in the field. It’s perfectly compact, at 108mm x 98mm x 33mm and 276g, although the sound, if needed, is squeaky and minuscule, so you may also need to hook up a good, loud Bluetooth speaker. Do ensure it is loud, too; a speaker that’s fine at home can be drowned out by office noise.