In the past few weeks there has been some buzz on this new presentation software called Prezi. It’s quite an impressive thing and a couple of weeks ago it finally went public, so if you have some spare time, check it out, they have a free version available. It IS quite a cool tool, the question is, whether or not it will become a hit.
I have no doubt the software is powerful and has some amazing effects, but will people use it? I think if you’re a designer, you can really make an impressive visual presentation with Prezi (once you get the hang of how it works), but I think for the “regular” presenter, the learning curve might be too steep, especially in the beginning. And the controls are not what we are used to from other software tools, it takes some getting used to. One cool application for Prezi that I can think of is an infinite loop presentation with audio and video clips, e.g. at an unattended conference/exhibition stand. I think Prezi can really be an eye-catcher. And the early adopters might also get some positive responses. Another application might be some simple motion typography. But after a while, I think Prezi will become a nice tool, but all the whizzing might be distracting for someone who wants to get a message across.
I think it’s a bit too complicated for regular users to use (especially in the sense of input/output ratio), but not powerful enough for designers (they might as well use Flash), so I think the target audience is a bit too small. That being said, if you can harness the Prezi power, I think it’s something you ought to give a try, but I doubt it will be the “next big thing”. But I don’t mind being proven wrong!
April 2010 Update: Read the new post on Prezi: What’s the blogospere’s viewpoint?