New iPhone app CardMunch converts business cards into address-book contacts. It's nothing we haven't seen before, but it does bring a unique element to the table: human-powered transcription. When you snap a photo of a business card and upload it to CardMunch's servers, a real person makes sure the contact info is correctly recognized and converted.
For busy execs, that level of accuracy might be well worth the 25 cents/card charge. It definitely beats manual error correction, which is necessary with other business-card reader apps like Business Card Reader and WorldCard Mobile.
While we're on the subject, let's take a look at some other slick business-card services and how they're changing the way we use, preserve, and even replace the little scraps.
- CloudContacts CloudContacts saves you the hassle of manually processing business cards. The service turns your cards into Web-savvy data that you can view online, integrate with CRM apps like SalesForce, and connect with social-media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. You can ship your cards through the mail or photograph/upload them.
- Contxts This free service beams your personal information via text message. To use it, you can ask an acquaintance to text a message like "DANIEL" to 50500, where "DANIEL" is your Contxts username, or you can do it for them -- just text "SEND 2125551212â€³ to 50500, where that 212 number is the recipient's phone.
- Dropcard Suppose you meet someone at a trade show. Instead of handing over a business card that's likely to get tossed or forgotten, just ask for the person's e-mail address. Type "drop," then the address, into a text message addressed to 41411. Presto: The person receives an e-mail containing all your contact info, plus any IM addresses, Web sites, and social-network links (LinkedIn, Flickr, etc.) you care to include.
- DUB Kind of like a cross between Dropcard and Plaxo (with a dash of Contxts thrown in for good measure), DUB works like this: you meet someone, pull out your phone, and text your new contact's e-mail address to DUB (or use one of the service's new mobile apps). He'll get an invitation to join the service (it's free), and then, after entering the equivalent of a business card's worth of information, we have access to each other's contact info via the DUB contact list. Any changes are instantly updated on both ends.
- Shoeboxed This receipt-scanning service can now handle business cards as well. Ship 'em your Rolodex and, like CloudContacts, they'll converted for import into Outlook, Salesforce, Google, etc.