Johan Rosenquist is the founder of w2solutions, a software innovation company. To the PowerPoint community, he brings experience from the Telecom world via the Headset Presenter application (and there is more to come). Johan has a MSc in Computer Science from Lund Institute of Technolgy in Sweden.
Geetesh: Tell us more about yourself and Headset Presenter.
Johan: The HeadsetPresenter is a PowerPoint plug-in that turns any Bluetooth Headset into a very small PowerPoint remote control. In fact it is probably the smallest remote available on the market and it is for sure the cheapest. The nice thing with the HeadsetPresenter is that is allows you to use hardware that you already own in a new and unexpected way. It also eliminates the need to carry extra devices when traveling or giving lectures, the headset behind your ear is magically converted into a remote with a few quick clicks.
Geetesh: How did Headset Presenter evolve.
Johan: I got the idea behind the HeadsetPresenter many years ago and since I did not have access to any Bluetooth SDK I basically wrote my own Bluetooth stack from scratch just to make a proof of concept. Then Microsoft announced support for Bluetooth in Windows XP SP2 and I started to look into what they offered. As you might know there is no Headset profile support in the Microsoft Bluetooth drivers but I found ways around this and just before Christmas 2004 the first live version of HeadsetPresenter was released, supporting only Microsoft Bluetooth drivers. The other key player however is Widcomm but there are others as well and I wanted to develop a solution that worked for everyone. I did not however want to buy an expensive SDK and since the HeadsetPresenter actually bends the Bluetooth profiles doing something that was not intended an SDK would probably not work anyway. During spring 2005 I found a complex but working way to achieve what I wanted, a generic way to implement the functionality of the HeadsetPresenter without tying it to a specific Bluetooth stack vendor and/or SDK.
In march 2005 v1.5 of the HeadsetPresenter was ready and a few months later the two versions called Microsoft and Generic version was available in a single Setup.exe so that the customer does not need to care or know what Bluetooth stack that is used on the PC, the installation program will find out and install the correction files automatically.
During spring 2006 v2.0 was released introducing Speech Control allowing the user to give voice commands through the headset as a complement to clicking the headset buttons.
Geetesh: Tell us about some customer responses, and success stories.
Johan: In general customer response has been great. Some people can hardly believe that it actually works and that they got this small remote at the cost of a good lunch. I also try to keep a close dialog with the real early adopters and there is a small group of real enthusiasts that try out new features, make suggestions and bear with in testing weird hardware combinations that I do not have access to myself.
Geetesh: How is your support infrastructure oriented.
Johan: There is a small FAQ available on the webpage and there is a “HeadsetPresenter for beginners” guide supplied with the installation package. If there still are issues all questions are answered via mail normally the same day and if needed support can also be given over the phone or Skype.
Geetesh: Can you share some trivia -- or some tip with Indezine readers.
Johan: I can only recommend you to stop controlling your presentation with the keyboard. I have attended many courses help by all kinds of companies and every single one so far controls the presentation with the keyboard. The worst one is when the lecturer actually has to ask a person in the audience to move for him since the laptop must be connected to a short VGA cable in the other end of the room. Most likely you already have Bluetooth in your laptop and perhaps you already own a Bluetooth headset. In that case there is simply no reason no to invest a few bucks in the HeadsetPresenter to improve your presentations. If you do not own a headset or a Bluetooth adaptor you can still buy them and a HeadsetPresenter license for a fraction of the cost of other PowerPoint remotes and then you get a nice headset and Bluetooth functionality for your computer at the same time.
Microsoft and the Office logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.