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"Free Falling Through Prezi" a prezi demo
Type Cloud Based Presentation Tool
Launch Date 2009
Status Active
Product Line Prezi Meeting
Prezi Viewer for the Ipad
Prezi Desktop
Platform Cloud Service
iOS App

Prezi is a cloud-based presentation tool that employs zooming user interface (ZUI). It enables users to create presentations with non-linear navigation tools. Known as an interactive whiteboard, users can zoom in and out in their presentations using Prezi's ZUI 2.5D space. Different from Microsoft’s traditional PowerPoint slides, Prezi provides a single virtual canvas where the user has great freedom. Users may click anywhere to add texts, shapes, photos, and multimedia. To create navigation, the user selects the path tool and clicks the objects in the order he or she wants them to appear. Prezi was founded in 2009 by co-founders Adam Somlai-Fischer, Peter Halacsy and Peter Arvai, with offices today in Budapest and San Fransisco. Due to the cloud based nature of the software, ethical implications such as security issues arise for users.


Prezi co-founder Adam Somlai-Fischer, a world renowned architect and visual artist, has been working with ZUIs since 2001.[1] Before developing Prezi, Somali-Fischer hand coded individual zooming presentations. He found that using a zoomable interface allowed him to visually present the “big picture” while also providing the tool to zoom into the details. Somlai-Fischer envisioned a publicly-available zooming presentation editor that did not need to be individually coded by hand. In 2007, his professor of New Media at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Peter Halacsy, convinced Somlai-Fischer to develop such software so that the public could make these zooming presentations. With the help of the third founder and CEO, Peter Arvai, the product was created and Prezi was launched from Budapest in April 2009.[1] Prezi established their U.S office (San Francisco, CA) in November 2009. Prezi users have now created over 160 million projects on Prezi. It has also surpassed one billion views and 60 million customers.

Visual Effects

Features Description
Zooming and Rotating This allows presentations to use the zoom feature and the rotating feature at the same time.
Spiraling The ability to move on a smooth circular motion from one scene to the next
Videos Users can imbed videos in their presentation that have an autoplay feature so that the presenter does not have to press play manually.
Fading Users can make their presentation fade in and out when moving from one area to the next.


Prezi bases its licenses on the freemium model.
A prezi featuring a 3-D background


  • Free
  • Includes basic features
  • 100 MB of storage space
  • All prezis are public [2]


  • Free 30 day trial
  • After trial, $59 billed annually
  • Includes basic features
  • 500 MB of storage space
  • Prezis can be set to private
  • Can upload your own logo in place of Prezi’s
  • Premium Support service within 24 hours of your problem
  • Team collaboration on a presentation

EDU Enjoy

  • Students and teachers who sign up with their .edu email receive a free version of the Enjoy license.


  • Free 30 day trial
  • After trial, $159 is billed annually
  • Includes all the “Enjoy” license features, but also includes “Prezi Desktop” which allows you to edit prezis offline


Prezi Desktop Display on a PC

The current prezi product lineup consists of four applications. Each is designed to make access and use of the product convenient, while also providing unique yet interrelated features.

  • Prezi Desktop: A downloadable offline editor which requires installing Adobe AIR. Once downloaded and installed, the user can create and edit their prezis without an internet connection.
  • Prezi Meeting: An app that allows up to 10 people to create, edit, and view a Prezi at the same time. Avatars are used to show where each person is working.
  • Prezi for the iPad: A free app for viewing, revising, and presenting prezis. After a prezi is downloaded once, the user will not need internet connection to work on it regardless of your license.
  • Prezi for the iPhone: A free app for viewing or showing prezis-- all of which are synced to the company's cloud which allows users to access the most recent version of their presentation. The app also allows users to access recent prezis offline.


Prezi is used by variety of people to accomplish different tasks. All are centered on the strength of visual media in representation ideas and information.

  • Presentation - Commonly used for business and educational presentations. Prezi is also increasingly being used for TED talks as it offers engaging non-linear effects useful for a presenter who wishes to zoom in or out of details. Prezi additionally allows for a continuous linear format which can be appealing for story tellers wishing to visually show a journey. [3] Some famous speakers who have used Prezi for their TED talks include:
Chris Anderson
Salman Khan[4]
James Geary[5]
Peter Arvai[6]
  • Resumes (prezumes) - Prezi presents one way for job applicants to present a dynamic resume to prospective employers. [7][8]
  • Mind Maps - The non-linear thinking and data visualization traditionally associated with mind maps can be applied using tools available on Prezi. [9]
  • Digital Scrapbooking - Prezi's one-click adding feature for media files allows Prezi to be used as a medium for creating digital scrapbooks.[10]


Prezi is often criticized for making the audience dizzy or nauseous as a result of overusing the spinning and zooming effects.[3] Prezi’s discussion forum also shows many customer complaints regarding Prezi outages.[11] Similarly, when internet connection is not available and the user only has the public license or has not downloaded their Prezi, they will be unable to present. Users have claimed that Prezi transitions can be disoriented when used frequently which can cause seasickness to audiences.[12]

Another criticism of Prezi is it's lack of aesthetic value, most notably its fonts and colors. Prezi offers certain palettes and outside of those colors, a user is not able to choose a specific color that they want to use. Presentation specialist Garr Reynolds notably said that he had never seen any good presentation come from using Prezi and that the real value behind the software is it's usefulness in promoting collaboration in meetings and group projects, not the presentations themselves. [13]

Ethical Concerns


Because Prezi is cloud-based, there is always a chance that information and Prezis could be intercepted by third-party sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Prezi doesn't guarantee the security of the information given by the user when using their service.[14] This presents a dilemma for individuals and companies who want to use the program, but want to ensure their presentation content is private and secure. Almost all Prezi decks are available online through a simple Google search. This is a privacy flaw in Prezi's platform concept because users might want to create a presentation that is not accessible to the public. Users on the free version of Prezi will automatically have their work be public and have their work be copied unless the allow copy option is changed manually in the settings. This can raise the issue of academic dishonesty, as Prezi is often used for educational purposes by students. If copying and pasting is allowed by the public nature of Prezis, intellectual property can easily be lifted and passed off for one's own purposes despite it being created by others. Prezi does offer users to purchase Prezi Desktop, allowing them to develop their Prezis offline. Unless the user has the EDU Enjoy license, one must pay to make their Prezis private and pay a higher cost to keep the Prezis off the company's server cloud.

Privacy Online

Prezi is an online presentation creator, and many companies will not use it because they do not want their projects and ideas on an internet-based platform. Prezi's customer service blog states that Prezi Desktop was created to resolve this issue so users can develop their Prezi offline as long as they're connected to the internet and not have to worry about their data being collected. [15] Companies can feel more secure about creating presentations using Prezi offline where no one will have access to them on the Internet.

An additional security issue with Prezi relates to the ownership of information. In their terms and conditions where users must agree to to use the service, Prezi states that a user's history with the presentation tool will be kept indefinitely by the company.[16] This creates additional problems for companies who wish to use Prezi to create presentations but do not want Prezi to hold onto the information in these presentations.


An issue stands in relation to subscription cancellation. If the user decides to cancel their subscription for a year-long subscription, they are still entitled to using the service for the time remaining. Instead of a monthly payment as you go, they hold the user to the cost of the rest of the license. [17]

See Also

External Links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Prezi. "Prezi About." Retrieved on 16 April 2016.
  2. Prezi. "Pricing." Retrieved on 16 April 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Reynolds, Garr. "The power of online video (and presentation) to change the world." 16 September 2010. Retrieved on 16 April 2016.
  4. Schultink, Jan."Salman Khan's Use of Prezi in Ted Talks." 10 March 2011. Retrieved on 16 April 2016.
  5. Reynolds, Garr."James Geary's Use of Prezi in Ted Talks." 7 April 2011. Retrieved on 16 April 2016.
  6. Peter Arvai's Use of Prezi in Ted Talks
  7. Meinke, Billy."6 Tips for Making a Visual Resume with Prezi (and some things to avoid!)" 22 January 2012. Retrieved on 16 April 2016.
  8. DeVries, Derek."Presume Creating a Resume on Prezi." 15 July 2010. Retrieved on 16 April 2016.
  9. 13 Interesting Ways to Use Prezi in the Classroom
  10. Prezi. "Prezi Digital Scrapbooking." 2012. Retrieved on 16 April 2016.
  11. Prezi. "Prezi Community." Retrieved on 16 April 2016.
  12. An Argument Against Prezi
  13. Reynolds, Garr. "Have you ever seen a great talk given with th." Retrieved on 16 April 2016.
  14. Prezi. "Privacy Policy." Retrieved on 16 April 2016.
  15. Prezi. "Online Privacy Issues." Retrieved on 16 April 2016.
  16. Prezi. "Privacy Policy (EDU)." Retrieved on 16 April 2016.
  17. Prezi. "Refund Policy." Retrieved on 16 April 2016.

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