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Haiku Deck's Zuru is smart enough to build your presentation for you

Leah Yamshon | March 6, 2015
It's time to officially ditch PowerPoint as your go-to tool for building slideshow presentations. Slideshow-building app Haiku Deck's latest feature, Haiku Deck Zuru, practically builds a slideshow for you, extracting the must-know information from your notes and putting it together in a gorgeously themed presentation. The Haiku Deck team calls Zuru, which was announced on Thursday, artificial intelligence, as it looks for keywords to pick out slide topics and relevant images pulled from its image database, which is entirely safe for public use.

You can always manually change the image to something else in Haiku Deck's database, or select a different keyword to open up your image options. You can also upload your own photos to use, but make note of your privacy settings — if you're making a public presentation, that image will be made available to the rest of the Haiku Deck community.

When you're finished building your deck, you can embed that slideshow in any website, or share it to your social networks or via email. You can also export it as an editable PPTX file and work with it some more in either PowerPoint or Keynote. 

It might seem redundant to upload a slideshow you've already built, but I loved what I saw Haiku Deck Zuru do with a ho-hum PowerPoint slider. It stripped away its cheesy stock template, broke over-crammed slides up into more digestible bites, and even recognized important charts and figured out a way to incorporate them in a more visually impressive way. Plus, it created a custom color palette to give the slideshow a more polished design.

"We want to get the user as close to done' as possible," Tratt said, "and if we can take something crummy and make it 80 percent better, we've done our job."

Haiku Deck Zuru will be a Web-only offering to start. It can be purchased now during its presale for $30 for a one-year subscription, and presale subscribers will have access to a beta in early spring 2015. The full Version 1.0 of Haiku Deck Zuru is scheduled to launch by late spring 2015, and it's regular price is set for $60 per year. Haiku Deck Zuru is an additional premium feature — Haiku Deck's apps for the iPhone and iPad will remain free, as will its standard Web app.


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