Adobe, makers of PhotoShop and other high-end presentation products, has clearly decided to try to break in to the low-end presentation market currently evolving in the tablet computer or smartphone market—this week the company has announced the release of a free app called Adobe Voice - Show Your Story, though most refer to it simply as Voice. It's an app that allows iPad users to create a video presentation with the purpose of telling a story.
Many people are familiar with Microsoft PowerPoint—it's a software product that allows users to create professional looking slide shows. Voice does the same thing, except that it produces a video, rather than a slide show. The main difference is that it includes voice-overs and a helpful interactive guide so that users of any skill level can tell a story in a very professional-looking and sounding way.
The app helps users tell a story by taking them down a storytelling path—asking questions, offering suggestions, prompting for input (all given via voice commands and finger tapping and dragging) and then by working some behind the scenes magic to smooth out rough edges, improve vocal quality, provide seamless transitions as the story unfolds and add subtle music into the background. The result, by most accounts, is a polished product—a story told in a smooth, pleasant and most of all professional manner. Most who view videos created using Voice will recognize the look and feel of the presentation as they will be very similar to television commercials. Expect to see videos made with it on Facebook, Twitter, and almost certainly crowd sourcing sites such as Kickstarter.
The sad fact is, most people aren't very good storytellers, even if they have a good story to tell. They get started and then remember they forgot some pertinent detail, they speak in a monotone, or say "um" between different parts of their narrative. That's what Adobe is counting on—its software looks to overcome human weaknesses, allowing virtually anyone to come across as a professional level storyteller.
The end product can be linked or sent to whoever the designer chooses, though the actual content is published and remains on Adobe's servers. Also, for whatever reason, Adobe has not included the ability to add video to the storytelling, everything is still images or icons. Voice is available now on the App Store—Adobe has insinuated that it will soon be available for other platforms as well.