Creation of a desktop application to complement Google Slides with offline videos and real-time interactions.
The Create with Google market leads had a need for a tool to let them seamlessly present to, inspire and engage with an audience of creative makers across APAC, where sometimes the internet bandwidth can be low.
With these requirements in mind, ustwo created a sophisticated desktop application to enhance the capabilities of Google Slides with offline high quality videos and real-time interactions and exercices with the audience.
Principal engineer on this project, I created a web-based prototype in 6 weeks then iteratively built upon it by laying technical foundations of the real-time interactions, architecturing a desktop application and releasing new features & interactions.
18 months later, we have released and are still maintaining a robust Windows & MacOS application being used worldwide for creative and engaging presentations.
Google Slides enhancing
The main promise of this product is to be able to interact with your audience.
The first part of the process is to “decorate” your slides with metadata, in order to know which slides are interactive. We have used a Google Slides Add-on to do so. A presenter can add an interaction from this panel onto the selected slide, which will be read as metadata by the Electron app.
During a presentation, the application will read the current slide the presenter is on, and detect whether it’s an interactive one or not. If it is, it will create an interaction ID in
Firebase, that will automatically be picked up in real-time by the members of the audience (see next point). A slide can also play an offline video, in which case Electron will directly stream it from the presenter’s computer.
The Audience view
Before each presentation, the presenter asks its audience to “connect” to the room by entering a unique session code. Once in, all the interactions triggered by the presenter will be seen in real-time onto the audience member’s phone (questions, exercices, etc). This whole part of the product has been built in Preact, Material Design & Tailwind CSS.