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Animated Help for PowerPoint Users

Techstination feature for Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Animated help for PowerPoint users. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Microsoft's PowerPoint is the most popular presentation software on the market and is used by millions. And that's part of the problem... .says Tom Atkins... CEO of a company called Right Seat Software. The company has developed a tool that adds a variety of animated talking characters to those presentations... (sound) You have the choice of having the characters speak in those computer generated voices... .or in a real voice that you've recorded. Is this kind of gimmick really necessary?

"Well there are two reasons really. In a live presentation, the first is obvious, they're boring. The typical PowerPoint presentations, everyone uses pretty much the same stuff. And if in the fifth slide or something a character pops up on the screen and says Hey Tom... did you remember to talk about so and so... everyone goes huh... what? And it really does engage people and it also helps you to focus on your content."

The text to speech engine is fairly simple to use. Having the characters speak in pre-recorded human voices is a little more tricky. You can package presentations as well that can be delivered entirely by the animated characters. Viewers will need a special player available on the Web site.

"We're also releasing a program called CD Prep. The CD Prep program will allow you to create an auto starting CD that does not require the player or anything else."

Vox Proxy sells for under two hundred dollars... .discounted to 70 dollars for students. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.