Having been to a few shows and conferences recently, and acquiring a number of business cards that inevitably end up loose in my pocket, bag, or on my desk, I decided I’d better have a look for an iphone app that could read and OCR business cards and import the data into my contacts.
So, I downloaded and installed Worldcard mobile from the app store (£3.49), and tried it out.
It works pretty well, you fire it up and are presented with a screen where you can choose to photograph a business card, use an existing photo, or use copied text from an email signature (which is a nice addition). Using the taking a photo option then simply gives you a screen with some border edges to get the image straight, and you take the picture. You need fairly decent light for this, and if the business card is laminated, you’ll need to be careful to angle it so you don’t get any glare. If mistakes are made, you can easily correct them in the app itself.
With almost all business cards, it works superbly, reading the text accurately, and placing the data in the correct fields (mobile, email, name, etc). The only issues it seems to have is with particularly colourful and strangely designed business cards. Once you’ve pulled the data out, Worldcard mobile will export it into your contacts, or you can choose to update an existing contact.
Ultimately, a very useful app. The text recognition isn’t perfect, but is good enough in 90% of cases.