The swapping of business cards is a tradition going back years and despite the advances in technology, it is an action that is still used by many business people the world over. However this tradition, that has its origins in European aristocracy, could be about to be given a digital make over by the company TouchBase Technologies.
It’s latest project combines the traditional business card that we all know, with the relatively unpopular digital versions that are already out there. TouchBase has developed a card that is embedded with conductive ink circuitrythat can mimic the electronic signal of a fingerprint. You tap the card on a smartphone display and then the cardholder’s digital profile is transmitted to the recipient’s handset, all in a matter of seconds. The stored information can be updated at any time as the profiles are cloud-based.
So far we have seen similar efforts from companies like Google, who created the Android Beam, a device that allows smartphones to swap information through near field communication (NFC). Unfortunately the venture hasn’t been that successful in replacing the original form of business card, perhaps because it is limited to the Android platform.
“We realized that business cards really aren’t going away,” says TouchBase CEO Sai To Yeung. “It’s a critical part of business etiquette.”
In using Touchbase you are not just limited to receiving the data that is stored on the digital card but rather through the accompanying app, there is access to the digital profile that links to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, plus a gallery of videos and photos of past projects.
“This is a way to keep the look and feel of your card, but when you want to share more information, you have that ability,” Yeung says. There is also the opportunity to keep tabs on who has “tapped” your information.
At the moment Touchbase is limited to use with the iPhone 5, 5S and 5C but if Touchbase’s Indiegogo campaign is successful, then the company plans to develop native apps for both iPhone and Android handsets.