Business cards are vestiges of a bygone era. I would hardly be exaggerating if I said that business cards have long outlived their welcome. It simply takes too much effort to go back home manually type in all the data from business cards that you earlier collected during a conference. It’s amazing that in this digital age people still insist on exchanging pieces of paper with their name on it. Unfortunately, all of us are forced to accept this stupidity as no convenient and globally accepted alternative exists. Luckily for us, today’s smartphones are powerful enough to ease the pain and simplify the process of organization of business cards.
Last week, I received a request to review MobiReader Pro for Android, a business card organizer app. Although getting sufficient quantity of business cards for a proper review turned out to be harder than I thought – trash can is the inevitable destination for almost all the business cards that I receive, I am glad that I took it for a spin.
MobiReader utilizes OCR (Optical Character Recognition) on snaps of business cards to automatically extract information like name, address, email and phone number. The intuitive user interface makes the entire process a breeze. The OCR can, however, be dodgy on occasions. Proper lighting and focusing is essential. Nevertheless, given that several OCR solutions perform miserably on anything but decent quality scans, I found MobiReader’s detection capabilities to be fairly impressive. For properly captured snaps, it was surprisingly accurate. The parsing engine is also quite smart. It figured out exactly what each field meant in 4/5 cases. The only business card it made a mistake with was mine! Scanned business cards can be saved into MobiReader’s card holder as well as your phonebook.
Another interesting piece of feature in MobiReader is the Augmented Reality view. MobiReader displays contacts as you rotate your camera around based on the location of the contacts. It integrates with Google Map to help you in finding a contact whose address is stored in the card holder.
Although, I have been characterizing MobiReader as a business card organizer, it is capable of doing a lot more. It can also act as a document scanner and organizer. You can scan any piece of text with it, and save it as a PDF, share it via MMS or email, or even upload it to Google Docs. You can even lookup meanings of words directly from the snapped images by utilizing MobiReader’s dictionary integration.
MobiReader is available in the Android market for $3.99. The price is slightly on the higher side as far as Android apps are concerned. However, if you are someone who gets a lot of business cards, or needs to scan a lot of documents, you will probably find MobiReader to be worth a lot more than the four bucks it demands.
Techie-Buzz Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)