Use Your Smartphone for Business Presentations | IDG. (No longer available online. Original text included below.)
Smartphones sales are close to overtaking feature phones, and are even more common among mobile workers. Though not as powerful as laptop computers, they provide many of the same functions in a much more portable form. When it comes to giving presentations on the road, there are many tools that will work, here’s how your smartphone may be one of them.
If there is already a computer and projector at the location of your presentation, and you just need to get your files there, you can use your phone as a portable disk. Before you leave, transfer the file to your phone, then access it at the location of the presentation. Your phone can also be a life-saver when you forget a file, allowing you to use a service like Dropbox to download forgotten files that can then be accessed via USB. Don’t forget the USB cable!
Another way your phone can be useful if the location already has a computer and projector is to act as a remote control. Using an app installed on the phone, and a small server program on the presentation computer, you can control the presentation through gestures on your phone. Some, like “Bluetooth Remote PC” work via Bluetooth, while others like “Remote for PowerPoint” can also use WiFi.
There may be times when you want to use your phone as the presentation device, such as when there is no computer available. In this case, some phones offer video output options. Newer iPhones can output video with a special 30-pin to video cable, and some Android phones like the HTC Evo 3D even include a mini-HDMI or MHL output. It’s important to note that not all phones can output everything shown on the screen to a display or projector, some are limited to specific media types like video, so be sure to try your setup early to ensure your presentation is possible.
If you can use your phone as the presentation device, you’ll need presentation software. Popular apps like Documents to Go or Quickoffice Pro can display a PowerPoint presentation stored on the phone. To avoid potential issues that apps might have with fonts, version incompatibility, and limited features, you might consider using a remote desktop app to display the presentation running on your office PC. An app like LogMeIn will show your office desktop, running your presentation in native PowerPoint. Be sure to have a reliable network connection!
Future CapabilitiesThough these are examples of how a smartphone could be used in a presentation, it is not yet the tool of choice, though there are efforts to change that. Recently, a self-described hacker developed a system to combine a PC, projector, and Microsoft Kinect camera to project his phone onto a wall, where he could control the phone by interacting with the image on the wall. The extra equipment requirements don’t make this solution practical, but with companies like Texas Instruments developing Pico projectors for smartphones, it’s not hard to imagine a phone having these abilities in the not-so-distant future. Even when that time comes, your phone isn’t likely to be the best presentation tool, but in a pinch, it might be just what you need.