A couple of weeks ago, I was engaged on a top-secret mission for a company whose name I cannot divulge working on a project whose details I cannot discuss in a location that must remain forever hidden, but I fear I’ve said too much.
Suffice it to say that I was surrounded by techno-geeks of the highest order — the sort of people who would flock to the sound of a packet of pocket protectors being produced. Thus, this was a situation that demanded I establish my own techno-cred.
Fortunately, I had recently taken possession of my new smart business card. This techno-dweeb’s delight served to disguise that fact that I rarely have a clue as to what I’m waffling on about.
The card in question comes from the folks at Mobilo. There are so many facets to this that I don’t know where to start. Perhaps we should begin by noting that you no longer need to stuff your pockets with an unsightly wad of cards before heading out of the office — now you need carry only a single card.
The way this works is that, when you wish to share your contact details with someone, you simply tap your card on the corner (or just bring it into close proximity) of the smartphone of whoever you are talking to. In turn, they immediately receive a popup containing all of your details, including name, address, company, email address, telephone number, website, and photo (you can also add all of your social networking channels if you wish). With just an insouciant tap of the finger, they can add you to their contacts.
This is awesome. Quite apart from anything else, since we are currently fighting out way through a worldwide pandemic, using one’s Mobilo card drastically diminishes any discomfiture, distress, awkwardness, or embarrassment associated with attempting to share potentially pestilence-ridden paper-based products.
There’s no need to load an app on your own phone, although you can do so if you wish. If so, this provides the same functionality as when you use a regular browser to access your personal profile page on the secure Mobilo server, which is where you can modify your contact details whenever and wherever you feel the urge to do so.
A generic plastic Mobilo card requires a one-time payment of only $7, while a custom-designed plastic card with your own logo and whatever else you want involves a one-time payment of $39. There is also an enterprise version for $65/year and a stainless-steel version that’s laser in-scripted with your custom design for $249/year — these latter versions are accompanied by a wealth of networking, analytics, lead-generation, and customer relationship management (CRM) features and functionalities.
But wait, there’s more, because there’s also a Mobilo Wood Card version, available in birch or sapele, that’s laser-etched with your custom design. In addition to looking awesome and being responsibly sourced, a new tree is planted for every card sold.
I was just thinking about the fact that every time I’ve moved office and/or changed positions and/or modified emails and/or altered phone numbers, I’ve ended up trashing hundreds of old business cards and purchasing hundreds of new ones.
Also, when I used to attend conferences in the days before coronavirus, I would return with piles of business cards collected from the folks I’d met. I know some people who manage to stay on top of this sort of thing, spending hours assiduously filing their acquisitions away in card indexes and suchlike. I’m not of their number. With the best will in the world, any cards I’ve collected eventually find their way into the bottom of a filing cabinet drawer cowering in the darkest corner of my office, never again to see the light of day (I like to think of this cabinet as containing a treasure trove of data waiting to be uncovered by industrial archaeologists of the future, to whom I say, “You’re welcome!”).
All I can say is that I look forward to the day when we all glide through life gracefully wafting and waving our Mobilo smart business cards while — at the same time — sharing our contact details with each other. How about you? Do you have any thoughts you’d care to share on any of this?
Seems like a good way to go. But what happens if your card is stolen? I’d suggest that a photo should always be included, and should come up on the recipient’s phone as soon as the card is scanned, so the deception would be obvious.
If your card was stolen, you could just log onto the app on your phone or on your profile page via a web browser and change the picture to a big STOP sign and change the personal details to “This card has been stolen”
OK, so the info is in the cloud and the card just has a unique number on it. That makes more sense. But then someone will hack into your profile page and put a photo of an ape there…..
You’ve never forgiven me for that, have you?
Wouldn’t it be easier for everyone to have a QR code tattooed on their forehead? I didn’t just say that, did I?
That might work for you Americans (it would be an improvement in many cases) — but I don’t think it would go down well in England
Did you see my column Chameleon Bots and AI-Driven GOL (https://www.clivemaxfield.com/chameleon-bots-and-ai-driven-gol/)? In the comments, David Ashton suggested using QR codes as seeds for a Game of Life (GOL) — so the most sought-after QR codes tattooed on American foreheads may end up being those that lead to the most interesting results in the GOL universe…
It would be even easier to have a microchip implanted in your hand, so you just wave that over someones phone. Oh, Rats… Bill Gates thought of this first and is having everyone implanted with a micro chip via the COVID vaccine….. 😄😄
It doesn’t work — neither does the microchip they implanted when I had the COVID test and they stuck a cotton swap so far up my nose I think it entered my brain — I can walk around all day with my nose pressed to my smartphone, but the microchip they implanted is obviously defective because nothing happens (maybe they used a stealth microchip).
Prior to 2004, I had visited quite a few shows where the technology had progressed from business cards through to smart tags where anyone at a booth would scan your visitor’s tag and instantly have all your contact information. I visited a large Chinese fair in Hong Kong in 2004. Culturally it seems the Chinese place great importance on a business card and treat it with respect. It is presented and accepted with both hands and inspected with attention. It was very time consuming going from booth to booth and going through the same procedure followed by the attendant manually copying down all the details.
Whilst Mobilio’s card would certainly have sped the process up, I wonder if it will trump the cultural implications in the orient.
Another selfish thought strikes me. Work never gave me a cell phone so why would I put business contacts on my phone? I certainly don’t want to mix business and pleasure, so would I accept this new technology if it were presented to me? And conversely would it be presumptuous to expect that a business acquaintance would accept it from me?
I am becoming a grouchy old man!
Becoming? You’ve always been grouchy LOL