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An Interview with Jim Reisteter

In this interview, Jim discusses Interlink, the presentation hardware industry, wireless technologies and PowerPoint.


Jim Reisteter Jim Reisteter is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Interlink Electronics. He is responsible for sales, marketing and product development for the Business Communications and Home Entertainment groups at the company. Jim joined Interlink Electronics from Kodak, where he most recently held the position of Vice President of Channel Sales and Marketing in the Kodak Professional unit.

Geetesh: Tell us more about Interlink.

Jim: Interlink Electronics, Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of intuitive interface technologies and products. Creating today’s interface standards, our business communications, e-transactions, home entertainment and specialty businesses have established Interlink as the industry’s comprehensive source for branded and OEM solutions.

Interface solutions for business communications include wireless presentation remotes and input devices for people who present as well as wireless OEM remote controls for business communications, broadband and home entertainment equipment. Selected Interlink Electronics’ customers include Compaq, Coretronic, Delta, Dell, HP, IBM, InFocus, Microsoft, Mitsubishi, NEC, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba. Recognized worldwide for innovate technologies and solutions, Interlink Electronics, Inc serves a world-class customer base from our corporate headquarters in Camarillo, CA and offices in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Taipei. We currently hold more than 70 patents protecting our Force Sensing Resistor (FSR®), VersaPoint®Pressure Pointing, VersaPad® pen input pad and RemoteLink®wireless communication technologies.

Geetesh: What type of revolution are we witnessing in the presentation hardware industry?

Jim: The presentation hardware industry is seeing a significant change in the customers we serve. It wasn't that long ago that nearly all presentation remotes were sold to professional public speakers. Now, the use of PowerPoint is standard in business meetings and people in all types of professions are called upon to give presentations. These people rely on PowerPoint to communicate their ideas and are rewarded for a well done presentation. It is these business presenters that are the new customer for the industry and with this comes the need for better, more creative presentation hardware solutions.

Geetesh: So much of evolution in new hardware is in the form of features most people are not aware of - or simply don't use. What do you attribute this to: lack of skills in users, unintelligent design from vendors or something else?

Jim: There will always be a demand for feature rich products from a wide variety of people who present. New products strive to meet the needs of many and in doing so, often include features that go beyond the average customer's need. Interlink has worked hard to diversify our remote control product line to offer a range of features. Our RemotePoint Navigator, is simple for anyone to operate, with just the most popular features; slide forward, slide back, slide hide and a laser pointer. RemotePoint Presenter has the same basic functions, but adds a software program, programmable buttons, additional range, and presentation storage capability. By including such advanced features, our customers can pick and choose the capabilities that are useful to them and customize the remote control to their personal habits and presentation methods.

Geetesh: How can users benefit from the marriage of wireless technologies with presentation hardware.

Jim: Wireless presentation remotes make people better presenters. It's as simple as that. I've sat through many presentation courses and they all teach the same basic presentation principles: move around as you are speaking, keep eye contact with your audience and convey your confidence. It is not possible to do these things well if you are tied to the computer to advance your slides. A good wireless remote is a necessary tool for successful presentations.

Geetesh: As online rich media makes its foray, presentation software is trying to cope up. How do you think the hardware industry will aid online rich media?

Jim: When using any software or media in presenting ideas, control is the key. A remote and mouse combination like Interlink's RemotePoint Presenter provides the ability to easily switch from presentation to web content and enables online web navigation. We provide a simple, easy to use presentation tool to accomplish this.

Geetesh: What sort of preparation should precede an important presentation as far as hardware is concerned?

Jim: Very little! The tools you choose to present with should just work. My personal tips for preparing for a presentation are:

  1. Select presentation hardware that is easy-to-use and supports plug and play operation.
  2. Give yourself a few minutes to set-up prior to the presentation.
  3. Be confident! Your presentation tools are working behind the scenes so that you look great.

Geetesh: Death by PowerPoint - PowerPoint is blamed for everything from space shuttle disasters to disaster meetings. What's your opinion?

Jim: Blaming presentation software for bad meetings and bad decisions only serves to highlight the importance of presentations. Since PowerPoint is used by NASA to evaluate the space shuttle program this gives credence to my previous statement that PowerPoint is a standard for communication. With such powerful evidence of the need for PowerPoint, I'm excited to provide tools that make PowerPoint presenters more confident, more credible and more in control; a better presenter!

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