That’s a Nice Chart You’re Wearing

By Heather Baldwin

How many times have you attended a presentation where the presenter unwittingly walked in front of the projected image and suddenly was wearing a pie chart or a map of the United States? How easy is it to concentrate on what the person’s saying when you can’t help but notice that Washington, DC, is located on the speaker’s left eye? That’s the problem iMatte Inc. has solved with iSkia, a hardware device rolled out at Infocomm 2003 that enables an image to be projected on the screen but not the presenter.

iSkia interfaces between the host computer and projector, and looks like another small projector. The device allows presenters to walk in front of a projected image without being blinded or sporting the image on their torso. In essence, iSkia creates a mask that corresponds to the shape of the presenter’s body, blocking only the portion of the projected image the presenter is standing in front of. Speakers are able to maintain eye contact rather than seeing only a beam of light, and they don’t have to have to worry about the audience thinking how much better they look without a bar graph on their nose. iSkia requires no special software on the computer used for presentations, works with any projector and is interactive.

The interactive feature, called Leading Edge, enables presenters to control cursor position and manipulate graphic elements with their hands. A wireless remote control lets a presenter, with a wave of the hand, do anything a mouse can do – underline, highlight, click on a link to a Website – while keeping hand gestures made simply to emphasize a point from being interpreted as mouse movements. And all of this can be done without any additional hardware on the screen.

iSkia will be available in October for $4,795. For more information, visit