That's where he got the idea of using PowerPoint, an everyday office communication tool that could be used to deliver a procedure with a mix of words, images, and embedded video. The only catch in this plan was making the Microsoft slideshow authoring tool work with Apple's tablet as the playback device. SlideShark was close to what he was looking for, an app intended largely to allow sales and marketing professionals to give presentations from their iPads or iPhones, with a big emphasis on faithful rendering of PowerPoint content. At first, Reagan thought SlideShark fell short of what he needed because the first version he tried would play back video but not the associated audio. But BrainShark was able to provide a beta release that remedied that shortcoming, which is what was actually used for NEEMO 16.
Video turned out to be among the most effective modes of communicating this tutorial material, Reagan said, adding, "That kind of surprised me--some things are so simple I would have thought a picture and an arrow would have been the most effective way to communicate them."
One caveat to that finding is that on the real-life mission, bandwidth for transmitting presentations or anything else is likely to be severely limited. The deep-space network for human exploration doesn't exist yet, so the exact constraints are unknown. Still, the capacity to transmit large video files will be limited, as will be time for video production. The most effective way to use video in that context would be short clips, presented in context, Reagan said.
Example: Showing how to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Social media make the customer more powerful than ever. Here's how to listen and react. Also in the new, all-digital The Customer Really Comes First issue of The BrainYard: The right tools can help smooth over the rough edges in your social business architecture. (Free registration required.)