CanvasDropr, a visual collaboration platform of the same name, has officially launched Presentation.io today, a new web-based service that gives anyone the ability to broadcast a slideshow to their audience’s computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Presentations can be watched and delivered in real-time through any web browser, and doesn’t require the audience to have a specific app or installation. To start with, users need to register on the website and upload their presentation; the service currently supports at least 20 different file types, although in our tests we had some problems with Keynote projects in particular.

Multiple presentations can be stored online simultaneously, and when you’re ready to start broadcasting it’s just a matter of clicking on the thumbnail and sending out the share link located in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

Madrid Presentation.io lets other people watch your slideshow in real time through an Internet browser

When the audience pastes the URL into their browser, they’ll be greeted with a holding page until the presenter hits the ’start presentation’ button. Users can then move back and forth between the slides just as they would on any other application, knowing that their audience can follow along with their own device.

In our tests there was a little bit of delay between changing the slide on Presentation.io and seeing the effect on a smartphone. It’s pretty negligible though and shouldn’t affect the quality or impact of the presenter’s delivery in day-to-day use.

There are all sorts of use cases for this too. In large lecture halls, students sitting at the back of the room can now follow the presentation even if they’re too far away to see the projector. Likewise, if you’re ill or unable to attend a meeting, it’s now possible to follow the presentation remotely.

Prominent universities in the US including Harvard, Berkeley, MIT, Yale and Cornell have already adopted Presentation.io during its beta period. In the free version, presentations will be stored under the custom URL for 48 hours, along with any relevant notes and comments. Users can upgrade, however, for $14 per month in order to preserve their presentations and allow the audience to access them again at any time.

CanvasDropr is a Danish software company that we checked out at The Next Web Conference last year.

The original service – which shares the same name – is a free Web-based service that allows anyone to upload files, including images, videos, PDFs and presentatons, to a digital canvas where they can be shared with other people. Staff at Sony, Nike and HTC are using the service alongside other users spread out over 140 countries.

Cathrine Andersen, co-founder of CanvasDropr, says the launch of Presentation.io is the next step in its long-term plan to become a leader in synchronous collaboraton and communications services online.

“Presentation.io is a reaction to pure customer demand,” she said. “This is also not the last new product we will see from our team of talented engineers this year.”

Presentation.io