Wednesday, January 6, 2010

ShowMate-PowerPoint Presentations from your BlackBerry

The mobile application space has really been incredible to watch and while the Apple App Store gets a lot of press there are some really unique applications in the BlackBerry world as well. As someone who does a lot of presentations, I was intrigued by a product called Impatica ShowMate, which would allow me to present my PowerPoint presentations directly from my BlackBerry Curve. The ShowMate itself is extremely small and portable(3.5" x 2.5" x 1") with built in Bluetooth that you plug into your VGA cable that is attached to your data projector. Once your Impatica ShowMate is connected to your projector you can launch your PowerPoint presentation from your BlackBerry and view it. Your BlackBerry communicates to the ShowMate via the Bluetooth connection and allows you to control your slide presentation directly from your BlackBerry.

When you order the ShowMate, in the box you will find a CD to Install the Impatica Software, the ShowMate itself and a USB power cord along with some international receptacles that you can use when you travel abroad. In order to use the ShowMate the first thing you will need to do is install the Imaptica for PowerPoint software on your computer as well as the Impatica Presentation Viewer on your BlackBerry. I was able to download the Impatica PowerPoint Viewer directly over the air directly from my BlackBerry using my BlackBerry browser. While the CD to install the Impatica for PowerPoint software is in the box, Impatica suggests that you go to their website and download it to insure that you have the latest version. I was very familiar with the Impatica for PowerPoint software having done a review of it several years ago and within minutes I was up and running. The Impatica for PowerPoint software, formats your existing PowerPoint presentations (.ppt and .pptx) so that when they are outputted, can be run from your BlackBerry. The software significantly reduces the original size of your PowerPoint presentations while maintaining transitions, links, and animations. Once you have converted your presentations (works with Macintosh & Windows) with the Impatica for PowerPoint software the software lets you easily transfer your presentation directly to your BlackBerry via a USB Cable.

Once your PowerPoint presentation lands on your BlackBerry you can preview it using the Impatica PowerPoint Viewer. Making the Bluetooth connection from my BlackBerry Curve to the ShowMate was fast and easy to do. When I projected my PowerPoint presentation all of the links, transitions, and animations were preserved as if I was running it from my computer. I should mention all of the text and images were clear with excellent fidelity. Using my BlackBerry I could move forward or back through the presentation if I needed to. While doing my presentation I could also access my slide notes, if I choose to. Having access to a really portable way to present is now possible- just add this solution to the 3M MP 120 pico presenter and you could leave your laptop at home. So if you are looking for a really portable way to do your presentations from a BlackBerry then you need to look at the Impatica ShowMate. For more information about the Impatica ShowMate click here.

Editor's Note: You can also use the ShowMate to present any of your applications or contents on your BlackBerry. In order to use ShowMate in this manner you can download the free Impatica Connector application to your BlackBerry over the air. Once installed you can now connect via Bluetooth to the ShowMate and see the view the contents of your BlackBerry and through the data projector. When used in this manner, the ShowMate makes for a great training tool!

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