Interactive touchscreens – you need to know your iVPs from your iMs

Interactive touchscreens – you need to know your iVPs from your iMs

Times are changing for those who sell things for a living. Whether you’re on an exhibition stand or in face-to-face presentations, the old-school way of presenting a series of slides or images is dying fast. Attention span is falling dramatically and to many people this kind of “linear lecturing” is just boring.

What’s replacing it? New interactive multi-layered presentations that allow users to jump smoothly from one aspect to another on request – basically, the ability to instantly call up any relevant data, at any time.

In recent years, mainly with exhibition stands and websites in mind, some companies have replaced static images with 3D animations. This was a big improvement – its more entertaining and can demonstrate many aspects of a product in a very short space of time.

There is still a place, especially in engineering sectors, for demonstrating the actual, physical product – nothing wrong with that – but for this reason many engineering companies have been slow to begin their digital journey. And for those who are just starting – take note – animators already know that five minute animations, unless they are really dramatic (and therefore expensive) are too long to maintain the attention of most.

So, what to do, especially if you have a complex product or process you need to explain?

Well, consider embedding your animations within a interactive video-player (iVP). This “chapterises” the animation so that you can watch the whole thing, or navigate directly to a specific sequence, or replay sections at will. It may sounds complex and expensive, but it isn’t – its quite easy to do and the use of iVPs for animations is rising fast.

But what about companies with lots of products or services who need animations of each? The answer is an interactive map (iM).

Its needn’t be anything to do with a map – though many of them do use a map as a homepage (e.g. an interactive city or interactive petrochem plant). Rather, its a way of depicting the full range of products or services available, then letting the user choose which ones they want to look at.

iMs have lots of navigational capability, so you can move seamlessly from one animation to another, then back again, without losing your place – and you can also embed and call up other things like PDFs, images, technical drawings, quality statements, videos – pretty much anything that you have.

These presentational iMs don’t have to be fancy, they just need well-designed functionality – and they can be modified or extended at will. For complex company groups, you can also design them to have a single homepage or to have a different “face” for each subsidiary or division.

So, animations can be contained within iVPs, which in turn can be contained within an iM.

Still with me? Actually, you don’t need to worry about it – any decent animation house will sort it out for you and you’ll end up with a presentation system that looks great and makes you appear slick, professional and cool.

More interesting, more flexible – and just better. If you want to try one of these out, try this one; go to http://www.tracerco.com/petrochemical-and-refineries/animation/