I read this article in the Australian
today about a clever new smartphone app that could make hoarding cardboard business cards a thing of the past. This clever little chap is called CamCard. To quote The Oz
"This app streamlines the tiresome task of taking contact information from cards and entering it into an electronic contact book. It uses a smartphone's inbuilt camera to capture an image of each card and then applies clever character recognition algorithms to extract details and store them in the phone's address book.
"During a test, CamCard recognised a variety of business cards, including some with dark backgrounds and dominant logos. After taking a photo of a card, the software took about three seconds to process it and populate a new contact book entry. Occasionally the app struggled to differentiate between titles and company names, however its character and number recognition capabilities are excellent.
The app also allows you to dial, send a text or email a contact while viewing their card's image. The "lite" version retains a limited number of cards, a full version is available for $11.99."
I like a new gadget, I do. So I downloaded the CamCard Lite
version (saves three contacts in the first week and one per week thereafter) and set to work with my iPhone 3.
Everyone who has an iPhone 3 knows the worst thing about this phone is its camera. Try as I might, I couldn't take a decent photo of a clean, clear, white background business card with my phone. One has to have the phone close enough to fill the screen with the card. The downside of this is that with the iPhone 3 it appeared to be too close to focus on the card.
CamCard told me the text on the card was unrecognisable at every attempt I made. I was taking the images in clear light, too.
So it's back to typing in contacts manually for me.
I'd be interested in hearing from really truly users who have downloaded this app and are trying it on their smartphones. Drop me a line if you think it works just fine. Especially if you too have an iPhone 3!