CamCard (business card reader)

User rating: (3 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)
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CamCard (business card reader) ($6.99) by Intsig Information Co., Ltd.

Available on iPhone only

When I am not writing reviews for IAR, on a completely voluntary and uncompensated basis mind you, I am in my office, or in court, or meeting clients in my daily struggle to keep the bills paid, my kids expensive private-school tuition up to date, and my wife happy. As a practicing attorney I am handed hundreds of business cards every year and I never know what to do with them. Herein lies the benefit of CamCard!

CamCard is a business card reader for the iPhone that allows you to take all those pesky paper business cards and convert them to digital form. According to Intsig Information Co., Ltd., CamCard is able to capture business card images with your iPhone-based camera, recognize the card image content, and then automatically organize and extract the person’s first name, last name, company name, work phone number, email address, physical address and company/contact website url. If only it were truly that easy!

Not quite as cool as the description makes it sound!


Using an iPhone 3GS I was able to take pictures of all my business cards and, with limited success, CamCard did actually recognize some of the information correctly. I would say that my success rate was about 50%. CamCard does provide a fairly easy and streamlined editing tool that allows you to quickly correct the information contained in the business card, but, to be honest, at a price of $7.00 I was hoping for a success rate more along the lines of 90%. To give you an example, I took a picture of a brand new business card that had the following information (names changed to protect anonymity):

Bates, Jules, Firn & Smith, L.L.P.
Attorneys at Law

Calvin R. Jules

2811 Syntax Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 90120

Telephone (555) 888-9898
Facsimile (555) 888-9191

This is what CamCard returned:

Company Name: “Fla, Ves HAR. KEY”
Department: “Mmataiee+ Wt FW”
Department: “G# +rrqir#t#tawiq. #BW”
Phone: (Nothing extracted)
Email: (Nothing extracted)
Address: (Nothing extracted)

The font on the above business card was not an obscure font and the text was in print and of sufficient font size. Maybe it is a problem with the iPhone 3GS camera? I don’t know. But for an app that costs $7.00, I would expect the thing to work as advertised and possibly offer me a back massage to boot.

Despite the limited accuracy of CamCard’s business card photo recognition software, I do plan on keeping the app installed on my iPhone. This is, of course, how I judge the usefulness of the apps I review here as there is only one other app I still have installed on my iPhone: GoodReader.  The ability to take a picture of a business card, and then quickly edit the contents to form an accurate digital copy of that business card is something I needed. Once I edit the business card for accuracy, I can save the contact information in either the CamCard folder or Contacts folder, or both. When viewing the digital card, I have the option of sending the contact an email, calling the contact, sending the contact a text, geo-locating the business address of the contact, re-directing to the contact’s company website. The main features include the following:

  • Automatically trim and enhance card image before saving into Card Holder.
  • Options to save into the phone/Gmail/Exchange contact.
  • Automatically recognize the language type of the card image content.
  • Automatically rotate the card image.
  • Batch shooting or importing card images for recognition.
  • QR code generation for the contact’s content.
  • QR code recognition for the contact’s content.
  • Email signature recognition.
  • Double-side business card image capturing.
  • Search contact in Card Holder.
  • Export contact as vcf or Excel file in Card Holder.
  • Add note.
  • Password protection.
  • Support Linkedin invitation or search.
  • Support business card recognition for English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Japanese.

Finally, I can throw away that Rolodex that has been collecting dust on my desk and switch to a completely digital library of business cards. For this reason, CamCard is win, albeit a bit too pricey of win!

 

Visual Presentation Simple but refined
Ease of Use My Dad Could Use It
Functionality But he would get frustrated because it does not always work
Value vs. Price It is a pricey app and didn’t perform as well as I expected
Overall A bit overpriced for the funcionality provided.  At $7.00 I expected it to recognize and extract correctly.
App Name: CamCard (business card reader) (iTunes)
Version: Version: 2.6.0.4
Price as of this writing: $6.99. A free version of this app is available.
iTunes category: Business
Available on: iPhone only
Developer: Intsig Information Co., Ltd.
Device & iOS used for review: iPhone 3GS, iOS 5.0