Microsoft is putting its SketchInsight interactive whiteboard system on display at the company's TechFest event this week. Designed as a system for storytelling, SketchInsight is a prototype project straight out of Microsoft's research labs. SketchInsight simply lets you tell a story using interactive sketches on a whiteboard. In Microsoft's demonstration the company shows how you could use this to present a story by drawing sketches that turn into animations.
The system can mine data from a database and suggest options for charts, diagrams, and other visualizations. It's really about presenting data in a meaningful way. Microsoft has clearly analysed traditional meeting scenarios with spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations and has invented a system it hopes will eventually make presentations a lot more engaging. It's also part of Microsoft's focus on "big data" to help make sense of the masses of content and information that is available at our fingertips. This is only a concept piece of software for now, but it's a hint at where presentations and interactivity in workplaces could shift towards in the future.