I’ve owned a CardScan business card scanner for many years. It works quite well and when you finish a busy day (or hour) of networking just pop the stack of business cards into the scanner and have the data dumped into your database. If the scan didn’t come through very well you can look back at the image and correct it.
But guess what? Theres now a service, from ScanR that lets you use your cell phone camera to scan business cards and add the data to popular address books such as Microsoft Outlook, Plaxo, Jigsaw and others.
scanR works with the camera phones and digital cameras that people already have and requires no new hardware or software. Just snap photos of business cards, send them to bc@scanR.com, and scanR will extract the contact information with accuracy levels that far exceed the leading, cumbersome desktop products. I have not tested how well the service works but this is their claim.
No more lugging around another peripheral or stacking business cards back at the office to “scan in later.” Using devices already in your pocket or briefcase, you can now turn a business card into an electronic contact instantly.
I think this service is “ok” for a few cards, but if you have a stack of 50 cards, I would think it’s much faster and easier to scan them via a business card scanner than with your cell phone camera and having to play with tiny button and email to an email address via your cell phone.
“The bridge between business cards and electronic contacts is now complete and available to anyone with a camera phone or digital camera,” said Rudy Ruano, CEO of scanR. “Business cards are the latest addition to the scanR suite of paper to digital services which already includes whiteboard and document scanning.”
In addition to the launch of this new service, scanR is also announcing today the integration of its Business Card service with the premier contact management services offered by salesforce.com, Plaxo and Jigsaw. With these partnerships, millions of people utilizing these services can now use their camera phones and digital cameras to capture and manage contact information and sales leads. scanR users can add these services to their accounts immediately at http://www.scanr.com/.