What's Cooking in Our Labs: SlideShare HandsFree!

March 19, 2013

Clicking through presentations can be cumbersome, especially when you're talking through them with a live audience at hand. You have to find the right key on your keyboard, or move your mouse to the correct button, often halting the flow of your speech. What if you could just flick your finger in the air, indicating movement to the next page?

Our engineers are on it. We figured if you could play motion-sensing tennis on the Nintendo Wii, couldn't you at least flip thought SlideShare presentations with the wave of a hand? Here's a preview of what we're working on:

And here's what the engineer himself, Shirsendu Karmakar, had to say about developing it (yes, he's pretty cool!):
If you have used/seen  flutter, you wish you could use it on websites too. A few days back, I saw an interesting Chrome Experiment. My initial reaction: SlideShare "Minority Report" style! I started working on something similar for SlideShare. After an hour or so, with JavaScript as my weapon and some simple techniques and approximations, SlideShare presentations were gestures ready. It took me around 30 lines to code to make SlideShare work via my gestures.
Whats happening behind the scenes.

  • webRTC has made it possible to access the web camera directly from the browser. No Flash required!
  • A image is snapped at regular intervals.
  • HTML5 canvas is used to draw the current image.
  • The movement delta = The difference between the last image and the current image is calculated.
  • Depending on the value of delta, we try to detect which movement was done. Currently only for basic movements are supported: left, right, top, bottom.
  • Each of the directions are mapped with the SlideShare's player API functions. Whenever, a movement is detected successfully, the player executes the mapped action.

What are other features you'd like to see us develop in SlideShare Labs?