You can't bump me, well let's see....

When Nokia Phones ruled the roost, they relied on something called IR (InfraRed Transfers) align phones with the IR receivers in a line of sight and exchange the business cards. The beauty was this was via a protocol using OBEX (Object Exchange) and best of it all, it worked between different manufacturers as it followed a protocol than proprietary transfers. Then it became Bluetooth transfers, but when Apple despite having Bluetooth decided not to use it for transfers, Bump came up with this innovative technique of bumping handsets and transferring data. Not everyone has Bump and half the times it does not work as anticipated. So, what does one do?

Last year while I was speaking at a workshop, I met staff that worked for Apple Australia, some had Bump on their iOS devices and some did not, so transferring business cards was easier. Delegates however were a different story, some did not even have iPhones and some had already gotten iPhone4's from other regions. What can one do in a situation where one cannot Bump? It is fallback to plan B, hand out visiting cards. Now, the savvy user that an iOS user is, isn't collecting visiting cards so yesterday?

Shape Services has a solution just for those that could find themselves in such a dilemma. I recollect small palm sized scanners that were being sold a few years ago in the early 2000's that could scan business cards and transfer them into Outlook Contacts (which was the rage for all synchronization of contact data in the early 2000's). So the solution from Shape services is in the form of a Business Card Reader. How it works is very simple, Place the business card on a flat surface, start the BC Reader software it in turn starts the camera, tap the screen to take the picture and that's it. The app takes a picture and starts to process it, with the on-screen display of a scanner moving across the image from top to bottom scanning the image. On completion, it populates the Contact with the information it could find off the business card. The engine is provided by Abby Reader software on which Shape Services have created a beautiful interface.

In our testing phase, there were issues with the recognition, on and off a letter would not be recognized properly. The recognized data is presented in text view or a contact view, so corrections can be made and data copied between apps. The recognition is quite fast and the UI quite sweet. It is available on the iTunes store for $0.99 which a steal.

If you are an iPhone user, the next time if people gawk at your face for mentioning "Can I bump you" [which could result in a good or a bad outcome] you can ask for a business card and more so often I have heard people at trade shows mentioning "This is my last card", no worries, take a picture or scan it using BC Reader.

Software : BC Reader
Version : 2.0
Publisher : SHAPE Services
Website :
Twitter : NA
Platform : iOS (4.0 or higher)
Demo : None
Price : $1.99
iTunes Store :

And we have a copy of BC Reader for one lucky winner, all you need to do
1. Follow @whatsin4me
2. Retweet the message "Read, follow @whatsin4me and RT this msg. You might win a copy of #BCReader from #ShapeServices"
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