A human touch for digitizing business cards

Real estate tech review: Cardmunch

Despite the promise of a paperless universe run entirely on mobile phones and laptops and tablets, the humble business card is still with us. When we’re out in the real world, the fastest way to reliably get our contact information to another human being is to hand them a piece of paper with our info printed on it. Business cards don’t crash or require an upgrade, or autocorrect our names into gobbledygook.

But the challenge then becomes making use of the information we gather by way of business cards. The proverbial shoebox full of business cards that gets ever more full. The stack of cards from the last conference. The loose card you picked up by chance after a short conversation at a coffee shop.

I don’t know about you, but for me, the percentage of cards that I’m handed that make it into a usable digital format is lower than I’d like. But recently, Wendy Forsythe of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate tipped me off to an iPhone app that solves this problem: Cardmunch.

Cardmunch is an iPhone app (a BlackBerry app is coming soon, according to the company’s site). It uses the phone’s camera to take a picture of the business card. That image is then uploaded to the Cardmunch server, where actual human beings transcribe the information.