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does for PowerPoint what the iPod does for MP3
  [vote for,

The pPod would be a little handheld gizmo, about the size of an iPod, with a few buttons and a built-in mini hard drive and a docking cradle.

Instead of downloading MP3s to it, you download PowerPoint (or other format) presentations to it. Instead of a headphone jack, it has VGA output, which you use to connect to the projector at the location.

Unlike a laptop, it's pretty much foolproof and instant. Press "On", plug in the VGA cable and go. The buttons let you control the presentation, and there's a small mono LCD for prompts (telling you what the next slide will be, your current position in the presentation, and any reminders to yourself that you might have programmed in).

PDAs can do this if you load "Pocket PowerPoint" or whatever on them (just as PDAs can be MP3 players), but you need to attach VGA output hardware and they're kinda big and bulky and expensive and not nearly as foolproof (especially with that VGA output hardware).

The pPod is targeted at travelling businesspeople instead of hip music lovers, of course.

egnor, Nov 22 2002

Portable Powerpoint Presentation Unit http://www.thinkgee...ing/handhelds/5a98/
Complete with VGA output. Handles a lot more than Powerpoint, tho. [DrCurry, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

An Equally Portable Powerpoint Projection Unit http://shop.store.y...r/son-vpd-mx10.html
SONY VPD-MX10 Portable Data Projector, capable of displaying Powerpoint presentations from Sony memory chips. [DrCurry, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

the leader in portable powerpoint devices http://www.margi.co...oducts/prod_ptg.htm
[avgourmet, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Documents to Go 7 http://palmsource.p...teid=7&prodID=2856#
Documents to Go, a nifty PalmOS application for creating, reading and writing MS Office documents, including PowerPoint. [disbomber, Apr 08 2005]


       I imagine PPT compresses well. It wouldn't need a lot of storage -- perhaps a flash card would do instead of a hard drive.
egnor, Nov 23 2002

       PPT without bitmaps compresses well but when you import bitmap art, things can get big. (if you pre-compress the art to jpeg first it helps a lot, though)   

       These ppod devices seem redundant when most people travelling to do a presentation will have a laptop already and won't want to carry yet another gizmo.   

       Also, the comparison to MP3 players is a bit odd. For while people want portability for music to listen to when doing other things, like exercising, they are not likely to fire up powerpoint while jogging around Greenlake (and they need a display system, anyway).
bristolz, Nov 23 2002


       And who says it wouldn't be a Microsoft device?   

       I agree that it's not as compelling as a portable MP3 player, but the foolproof ease of use that comes from a dedicated device might be worthwhile enough to carve out a small niche. I got the idea watching people fumble with laptops and video connections and power connections and display modes and waiting for things to boot and messing with screensaver settings and so on. The pPod would just immediately start working, use DDC to switch to the optimal resolution, etc..   

       The businessperson would certainly have a laptop with them on the trip, but this way they wouldn't have to carry it on stage or into the meeting room.   

       It's also handy that the pPod is its own handheld controller.
egnor, Nov 23 2002

       I agree that a _lot_ of fumbling goes on around presentations, particularly with display modes. (What's DDC?).   

       Maybe it could also act as a no-fuss presentation peripheral that can, in addition to stand-alone use, also plug in to a laptop, via, say, USB 2.0, to retrieve the presentation from the laptop (or add ethernet and have it be able to retrieve across a network) but handle all of the fumbly display related issues.   

       "The minute you put the pPod on the market, Microsoft will change the PPT file format out from under you. " That's just hyperventilation, [SD].   

       I do agree it would be nice if it could also grok Drektor/Flash/Shockwave and the SMIL+SVG and maybe even MPEG4 stuff.
bristolz, Nov 23 2002

       PowerPoint IS a standard format and, by far, the most popular worldwide. If it did SMIL + SVG in addition, great, but w/o ppt it'd never fly.
bristolz, Nov 23 2002

       egnor proposing a pun? I guess pigs *will* fly.   

       My only quibble is that your pPod should also be capable of NTSC (television screen format) output.   

       (I note that waugs' request is Baked - see link.)
DrCurry, Nov 23 2002

       The projector with the CF slot is cute, I didn't realize that existed. I wonder just how PPT-compatible it is.   

       Sure, NTSC output, why not. Heck, might as well include a little TV transmitter, so you can display your presentation just by tuning a nearby TV to channel 18 or whatever.
egnor, Nov 23 2002

       This seems a really inefficient way to solve the problem - create a new bit of hardware optimised for use with certain software to overcome niggling problems in the normal operating environment for said software.   

       The laptop is not the most user friendly of environments but surely the solution is to write better software, not to develop a bunch of stand alone specialised devices? I know there are plenty of convergence units out there that are underused but this seems absurd.
Ludwig, Dec 10 2002

       as a lecturer, this would be perfect for me. The class rooms i teach in already have a projector, so at the moment i have to lug my laptop with me. If i could take an iPod like device to plug into the VGA cable, that would be heaven. So, make me one and i'll buy it!!
gabt, Oct 08 2003

       PPT and Microsoft can go hang. PPTs can be exported into JPGs and some as Quicktime movies...so a very simple device will do.   

       This idea seems baked, but a good idea nonetheless!
timbeau, Mar 08 2004


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