Business Cards are so 2008…


I moved recently, and when I did I threw out about 5 almost full boxes of unused & out of date & completely useless Business cards.

Then, on Thursday while watching Roger Lawrence try to get Bluetooth working to transfer his contact details to someone, I mentioned how with all of the technology available today – its crazy that there isn't an easier way to just transfer your contact details to someone.

I was originally thinking that something like a QR code would be great if it was able to be quickly scanned & then a contact item added to your phone contacts.

BarCodeWell, amazingly, I woke up Friday morning to hear of a new release by Microsoft of the Microsoft Tag technology. By installing the Tag Reader application on your phone (available for Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Palm, Symbian or Windows Mobile) you can simply use the application to scan an image like the one lovely Ben Haylock kindly made for me here (in response to my general ‘please build me one’ request I made via Twitter on Friday Morning) and you will automatically be prompted to add my Contact details to your phone! Simple! 🙂

It would be great to see this replace the age old Business card swapping process. Not only do I often forget to take business cards with me places (maybe that's why I have so many full boxes of them lying around), but I am also terrible at ever getting around to entering the details of the business cards I have received into my contact details. I think something like this is a brilliant replacement process & I hope to see more people start to use this soon!

I wonder what I can next suggest to someone & see released the next day?? 😉

Comments (5)
  1. Cameron Reilly says:

    So this is Microsoft’s version of QR codes? Yet again MSFT can’t just get behind an existing solution? It was to try to own it? Sigh. They’ve learned nothing.

  2. Jodie Miners says:

    I downloaded it and installed it on my Symbian phone… the app picked up the tag quickly and easily and then connected to the internet to resolve it, but the contact details would not save to my nokia phone :(. One thing I don’t like is that you can’t use them without it connecting to the internet. It would be better if you could just snap the tag, then when you are connected to Wifi or at some time of your choosing, then resolve it and get the details

  3. Chris Auld says:

    Cameron: QR Codes are fine for some situations. But, they lack the sort of data density you need for pushing around things like vCards. Trust me on this one.. I had a Datamatrix 2D barcode on my business card yonks ago and it was a PITA. I’ve also written mobile ticketing applications so am reasonably well versed in the various traditional barcode formats.

    The advantage of Microsoft tag is that it is really a 3 dimensions barcode using both spatial and color based dimensions.

    This means

    1. Higher data density allowing mroe data in a smaller area- much more suited to things like business cards and display on low res LCDs.

    2. Relatively large individual spatial ‘triangles’ making them more resistant to damage and mis-scanning

    Now a more important question for me is will Microsoft provide decent SDKs etc to work with these tags… I don’t see much yet.

  4. Import to Russia says:

    This is a great resource page – it’s certainly going in my bookmarks!

  5. When the Windows Mobile team showed me these tags during CES I knew these would be the next best thing.

    Think of all the uses, from products to inventory in your home.

    Like the title of this post says, even for business cards.

    This is a replacement for RFID in the consumer area, it’s cheaper and almost everyone has a mobile phone.

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