My grandpa used to keep piles of business cards, and he might had his own logic to locate any of them. I always wanted to organize them for him, but, never had I got a chance to do so before he passed away.
No I collect business cards, and my situation is even worse than my grandpa’s! I have cards from different industries, like: TV stations, production companies, designers, magazines, IT companies; cards of groups of different relations, like: suppliers, counterparts, clients, potential clients, business partners… I used to type them into the computer and make vCards or contact lists, inefficiently. I almost spent half a day entering only scores of cards. Moreover, I had to share them with my coworkers or store them in my mobile phone, so I exported the cards or lists and imported them for my coworkers and synchronize them with my mobile phone. My have used Lenovo ET180 and Nokia E63, but these two big shots never provide easier ways for biz guys to manage their contacts. The users can synchronize their contacts, as long as they would like to learn how to use a specified tool. I am a “studious” person and willing to spend some time on it. However, my coworkers, leader, and boss, they are not enthusiastic about this like me. So I gotta do that for them…
And now, please welcome, the powerful all-dimensional contact managing app that can take pictures of business cards, OCR different languages, recognize vCard standard (WikiPedia) QR code, manage contacts between card holder and Contacts of iOS system, share contact information via SMS, emails, or spread sheets, synchronize or update contact information on cloud of CamCard…
Follow me with a V188.8.131.52.2379:
1. Take photo(s) for a card. Yes, both sides can be captured, and that is why I used a plural form of the word “photo”! You can select photos from your camera roll or photo stream, too. Also, you can capture a QR code (the easiest way to read a card)!
2. Auto rotating, cutting and then OCR. The app can recognize CJK (Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean), let alone English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, and Hungarian. I stored many Chinese and English business cards, and the app finishes rotating, cutting, and recognizing in only 10 seconds! And the accuracy rate is 95%! (I tried Japanese and Korean cards, but not many, and a rush test shows at least 90% of accuracy rate.) The OCR result has to be edited, so that the user can make sure the information is right. The app can show the respective position according to the field you are editing, sweet, right?
3. After editing, we can store the contact information into Contacts of iOS system. Tap “Card Holder”, “Edit” on the top right corner, select a card, and tap the export icon (not sure the correct name of that icon), then you have three options: “Export Contacts to Excel”, “Export to vCard”, and “Export to Phone Contacts”, tap the 3rd option. If you are using iCloud, you are synchronizing the updated Contacts as long as your other device is online with the same account logged in, automatically! I have no idea why I did not have the similar experience when I was using a PPC or a Symbian smartphone, or I just did not know? And, I still have not got a clue storing the contact information to Gmail or Outlook.com (formally, hotmail), maybe I need to study the manual.
4. What should we do if we want to share the contacts? There are two ways: 1) go to “Card Holder”, select a card, tap the “…” icon on the top right corner, tap “Share Card”, then you can choose “Share via Email”, “Share via SMS”, or “Share via QR Code”. If your coworkers have CamCard, too, they can import it directly and seamlessly! Otherwise, they have to enter field by field again. 2) go to “Card Holder”, tap the hand-shaking “Introduce” icon, select a card, and tap the “Introduce” button on the top right corner, then you are introducing that man to your email recipient(s).
5. The contact information in mobile phones is a stack of data, without flesh or blood. Users can store and sync the information of contacts on the cloud of CamCard, with the photos, too. And, touch wood, if a device with those contacts is missing, the user can retrieve the data from the cloud, using another device with the same account (not sure if CamCard allows users to delete the information from the missing device). The latest version provides “AR cards”, which means, in future, I give a business card to a customer, he shoots my card, and then he can read other multi-media information I upload, like the 3D picture of our products, a screener of our company, etc.!
Here come special reports:
1. I am Chinese, I love Chinese, and I love Chinese characters! However, the iOS system is invented by westerners, and I find comfortable using English version. But in this case, the smarty system just cannot order my contacts! I was about to curse the system, and CamCard reliefs me, graciously. CamCard automatically adds Phonetic first/last name fields to every card it captures!!! So iOS can order the contacts according to phonetic symbols! Of course, added is the Chinese Pin Yin complied with its standard, and the user has to re-edit if Wade-Giles System is preferred.
2. A Contact Business-card Manager should be able to enter, edit, and store business cards. And CamCard is exactly an app of such manager. However, another famous initial A app developer separates into two standalone apps, a card holder and a card reader. The users can not store contact information only with their card holder, and a card reader will be required. And, they can not OCR Chinese (in fact, they are capable to do so)…
The iOS phone version CamCard with CJK OCR (with a character “中” in the icon), is RMB78 in China App Store, and $11.99 in US App Store, buy it if you need. Recommended for the westerners who are working with people from China, Japan, and Korea.