One of the key problem for a speaker is to maintain user attention.

This problem is particular relevant for teachers, who has to transmit knowledge to their students, or for speakers who present a new product, e. g., a medicine, to potential buyers. For this reason, computer-based multimedia presentations has rapidly replaced the use of chalkboards, overheads and handouts, both in academic lectures and in presentations in conference rooms.

Although the persuasive power of computer-based multimedia presentations, they do not completely solve the problem, since it often happens that many users do not follow a presentation from its beginning to the end, due to the limited attention threshold. The diffusion of smartphones and tablets increases this problem, since a bored audience often begins to read email through smartphones or tablets or to perform social activities like using Facebook or Twitter.

This project studies the state of art of tools for distribute presentation and test a new tool for interactive presentations developed by Primo Round. This tool allows the speaker to show a common slideshow on the screen, and to distribute to the users the same slide in their smartphone or tablet, independently from its model and brand. The system can be used for both on-line and off-line presentations and encourages the user to perform social activities, e.g., share, comment, or like a slide. The author can also submit a questionnaire or a poll to the audience and see in real-time the answers.

The tool has been tested in small focus groups to find possible bugs and usability problems. Then, we analysed the behaviour of students of a course of "Web Technologies" at the undergraduate program in "Computer Science" at the University of Padua during some lessons. The teacher proposed some exercises to the student and their solutions. A set of eight closed questions with a predefined set of possible answers helps the discussion about the goodness of the proposed solutions. We aims at analysing if the tool is able to improve the participation and engagement of the users to a presentation, and we obtain very good results.

Moreover we help to complete the tool developing a prototype editor which allows to create and edit presentation using a web interface.

Private Sponsor: Primo Round S.r.L.
Beginning Date/End date: 15th October - 15th November 2015
HIT project coordinator: prof. Ombretta Gaggi
Contact e-mail: gaggi[at]