Everything from paperback novels and newspapers to roadmaps and phonebooks seems to have found a new home as a modern, electronic version of its former self. Yet, in our increasingly paperless world, there’s one thing that still seems archaic and hasn’t moved to an electronic form: business cards.
At conferences, trade shows and networking events, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll run out of business cards – or room in your pocket from collecting so many other cards! So, wouldn’t it be great if business cards caught up to our modern, electronic world? Well, we seem to be getting closer each day, especially with the advent of several pretty cool smartphone apps, some of which I saw being used a couple of weeks ago at Cloud Expo West.
Indeed, apps like SnapDat and beamME are starting to make business cards obsolete. With the ability to send or collect contact information and automatically input it into your smartphone, these apps are bringing a modern feel to networking. Of course, there are still certain barriers with apps that require users to have the same type of smartphone, be on the same WiFi network, or use the same app, but, overall, the foundation is in place to bring a fundamental form of communication and contact exchange into today’s paperless, modern age.
On the other side, there are also apps that will allow you to capture business card info to transfer paper cards to your mobile phonebook with one click. ABBYY Business Card Reader is one such app that uses smartphone cameras to capture information and add new contacts with pretty accurate text recognition in more than 20 different languages. This not only helps people save paper and stay environmentally conscious, but it also gets rid of the stack of cards in your pocket or purse, which I inevitably get mixed up with my hotel key card when traveling. Talk about a life saver!
Some of these apps have been around for years, but new and improved versions seem to be cropping up left and right, which will hopefully increase adoption rates and help us get rid of those rolodexes and card holders forever!