What if business cards could "talk"

Recently I did an interview with Mant Hawkins, the CEO of 4D Circle. (Here is a TedX talk he did entitled "If buildings could talk") In the interview we discussed the premise of the Internet of Things (IoT) which is basically connecting objects in our natural environment (in their case buildings), to the internet via sensors and the capability that unlocks, because in essence you enable the object to "talk" by now being able to provide you with data previously invisible.

That is the power of making everything digital.

Which brings me to business cards. These play an important role in business and I don't think there are very many people, who have at one time or another not had a business card. They are great tools to introduce your business and provide your contact details to the person you have just met.

Here are some of the cards I have collected recently. (I don't know if you are like me, but I don't really have a system for these except that I have a special drawer where I keep them.)

Although effective, there are several problems with business cards, especially if you are the person footing the bill to print these. Lets look at a few.

  1. Details change! Think of some of the scenarios. Telephone numbers change, companies move offices, a staff member leaves the company (all the details on the card remain the same except for the name in many cases,) a staff member changes department, the company has a rebrand and the logo changes.

  2. Not easy to search physical cards.

  3. Not easy for the card to be forward to someone else (yes you can take a photo and send by Messenger or WhatsApp.)

  4. No easy way to add the person's details to your phone contacts.

  5. No way to track what happens to the card. It can often end up in a bottom drawer never to be looked at again, or worse in the trash can.

Can you think of any others I have left out?

Fast forward to today. What if these cards became digital? Then they would be able to "talk" and it would solve some of the issues mentioned above. So lets look at the benefits of a digital card.

(You can check out our digital card in the picture here)

  1. Content can be updated in real-time - what this means is any changes to contact details, email addresses, websites etc. can be changed and those changes are pushed to every person who has the card. That's huge.

  2. In the example above, you can see that seamlessly saving the contact to your mobile is just the touch of a button. Once in your contacts the details are easily searchable.

  3. It's very easy to forward this card to a colleague or to someone who may need the info.

  4. You can add custom buttons to these cards, taking a person to various areas on your site or to dropbox to download a document or price list (very handy)

  5. You can add a profile picture to each card which makes it easier to recall the interaction. (This is something I really wish more people would do even on old paper cards! In the paper card picture above only 5 of the 100 or so cards had the person's picture which helps me remember the interaction so much better!)

Because the card is digital it can now provide valuable data which becomes very useful. So for example, you are able to see how many times the card has been opened, you are also able to see how many times it's been forwarded or which of the buttons have been clicked on (giving you an indication of what interests people.) You can also see how many times the card has been forwarded by email. All this data makes it possible to see what was previously invisible.

Here is data that the digital card is producing for a client (greyed out areas for confidentiality):

In this example, it becomes clear that interest in the client's book stands out, meaning that this should feature prominently elsewhere.

Digital Cards are another illustration of the value digitisation brings to something as simple as a business card!

(At FutureWork IQ we are excited to offer Digital Cards as part of our solution. If you would like to speak to us about digitising your company's business cards then reach out to us via Messenger or email us on info at

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