People have been talking about the paperless workplace forever, but we’re not there yet — and business cards a prime example. Sure, there are apps that let you share your contact info by beaming it from phone to phone — but that only works if your contacts run the same software. While we wait for some sort of standard, most professionals carry around stacks of business cards.
But if you’re tired of manually taking the information from those cards and typing it into Outlook or your phone, ABBY Software has an app that can help… a bit. It’s called ABBYY Business Card Reader, and it lets you snap a photo of a business card with your phone’s camera to add the info to your contact list.
I took the app for a brief spin this morning and it’s pretty impressive. It does a pretty good job of recognizing the text on most business cards and figuring out the important elements — even those which may not be clearly labeled, such as which field represents the company name and which represents a person’s name.
When you take a photo, the Business Card Reader will use OCR technology to try to convert what it sees into text. But before adding the information straight to your contact list, you’ll be presented with a review screen which you can look over to make any changes. The app will also highlight letters or characters it’s not sure about.
That said, I found that the app had problems with a few business cards I threw at it, including one with a large picture on the front and text printed in portrait instead of landscape mode. I’m not sure which of those factors caused a problem, but the ABBYY’s Business Card Reader simply couldn’t recognize anything on that card.
ABBY Business Card Scanner costs $9.99 and it works with Android 2.1 on phones with auto-focus cameras.
via Android Guys