With everyone and his grandma owning a smartphone, you’d think we’d have done away with business cards by now. But, alas, it ain’t so. It doesn’t look like that will change soon, either. And while some outfits have tried to smarten up business cards by adding RFID or NFC (so people can automatically add them to their smartphone contacts), these TouchBase Business Cards just might prove a tad friendlier to the market at large.
Rather than snap a picture of the card or use some wireless protocol that your phone doesn’t support to save the contact info, all you need to do is pass the business card over your touchscreen. Boom — you’ve got that person’s information on digital file. Yes, it’s magic.
Actually, it isn’t. Instead, every business card made by TouchBase has a distinct pattern embedded that’s imprinted using conductive ink, which mimics finger gestures when tapped onto the screen. Each of those imprints is unique to the individual who owns the business card, so when it touches your display, the app only needs to search the TouchBase cloud servers for that specific imprint to turn up its corresponding entry. We can’t tell if there’s an option to save the contact to your own phonebook, although there should be (I mean, no one wants to pull out Taylor Swift’s mom’s accountant’s personal assistant’s business card every time they want to email her).
The business card owner controls what kind of information they can share from the cloud servers, so they can throw in brochures, links, and even photos (not the scandalous ones from last weekend, heaven forbid). Users can also track who taps their cards, which can be useful when determining whether a potential customer is interested.
As of now, TouchBase is crowdfunding their business cards via Indiegogo. Pledges to reserve a set (36 pieces) starts at $25.