Written on 10/11/2010 01:56:00 PM by poison_ivy
Here's another app that Shape Services has allowed me to review: Business Card Reader. Like the IM+ Pro app, I am no stranger to the business card reader, being a former windows mobile phone user, a business card reader came free with my previous Samsung Omnia mobile phone. This business card reader for the iPhone, however, doesn't come for free but costs $3.99 at the app store. So, is it worth getting? Let's find out.
The Interface of Shape Services' business card reader for iPhone is user friendly enough. When you open the app, you get the feeling that you're looking inside a leather wallet and you're presented with four cards: Take a photo, Select Picture, Card Holder, and the about us card.
Taking a picture of the business card with the camera is easy, you just center the business card and follow the "this side up" on the screen. Once the autofocus sets in, you tap the picture and the app automatically tries to recognize and read the business card and then opens up your contacts to save what has been read.
As for the accuracy of the image recognition software, I can't say it's perfect. Out of the four business cards I tried, there's one that only has 1 mistake while the others have misspellings or where put in the wrong field but that's understandable considering that business cards are presented in different ways right now. The misspellings are forgivable since you only have to mildly edit some of the fields and thanks to the iPhone's copy and paste function, if an item is in the wrong field, it's just a simple cut and paste away. The app automatically makes the image of the business card as the default image of your contact. Transcribing the image is pretty fast, around 5-10 seconds.
The card holder option is where the images of the business cards are stored. It's a nice additional feature and you don't have to store any business cards in your wallet again.
There's a built in browser so you can search your contact on LinkedIN but I haven't tried that coz I'm not really familiar with LinkedIn and I don't have a LinkedIn profile.
Overall, I think the Business Card Reader is a pretty useful app especially for businessmen. Yes, transcribing of the images may not be perfect but it sure the heck beats typing everything on your contacts. I'd rather just edit a few misspellings rather than type the whole business card in. I've searched other business card readers in the app store and surprisingly, Shape Services' Business Card reader is cheaper than other paid BC readers out there. So for $3.99 and the time you saved when saving business card contacts, yes, it is worth it.