When you receive a business card, the usual way is to manually enter the contact information to your phone book. If you have collected tens (or hundreds) of business cards in a networking session, you probably have to spend several hours entering the details. If you have a smartphone (such as iPhone or Android), one solution is to use a business card reader to automatically scan and add the contacts to your phone book.
Business Card Reader (BCR) for Android is one app that can take a photo of your business card, parse the information into various fields and add the contacts info to your phone book. The usage is simple and it works pretty well in this testing.
Download the Business Card Reader (market link, cost US$4.99)
Open the app. You should see the main screen of Business Card Reader.
Tap on the option “Take Photo”. Your camera will load and you will be prompted to take a picture of the business card.
Once you have taken the photo, it will scan the business card for contact info.
The parsed data will be displayed and you can check if the information are correct.
From here, you can either tap “Done” (top right hand corner) to add as a new contact to your phone book, or tap “Merge Contact” (bottom left corner) to merge this contact with existing contact. Lastly, you can also tap the “LinkedIn” button (bottom right corner to view the contact info in LinkedIn.
That’s it for adding new contacts from business cards.
Back to the app main screen, there are also features like selecting a picture from your gallery to parse contact info (useful when people email you a scanned copy of their business cards) and the Card Holder where you can view contacts added using the BCR.
On the whole, BCR is easy to use. There are two caveats though: big file size and the inability to move to SD card. The file size of BCR is about 22MB and the inability to move to SD card can be a problem to those who have a small internal storage space in their phones.
Other than that, Business Card Reader has worked really well in my Android phone.
Business Card Reader is available for iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry and Windows Mobile as well.
Business Card Reader for Android (market link)