Earlier this month I wrote up a rather long review of omNovia web conferencing. I mentioned that although slide transition effects were preserved upon uploading a PowerPoint deck to the meeting room, conference participants could not see those effects occur during a meeting. The gang at omNovia must have been listening, because the production system is now showing slide transitions faithfully. You can have slides do vertical or horizontal wipes, fades, and other fancy tricks to get from one to the other. It even retains the ability to do an automatic transition based on timing rather than a mouse click. This means you could set up a PowerPoint deck that moves through an entire presentation by itself.
The ability to show slide transitions is extremely rare in web conferencing products that use slide uploads rather than screen sharing to show the presentation. It’s worth giving omNovia a special mention for adding this. The performance of the effects in my testing has been very smooth and faithful to the behavior as seen on my desktop in PowerPoint slideshow mode. That smoothness is something that is impossible to guarantee in screen sharing applications, as the screen polling, transmittal, and reassembly steps can’t keep up with the large graphic redraw requirements of a full screen animation.