A special edition of “Cool Cards” this week as we stifle our usual gushing over luxurious print techniques and gimmicks to focus on a single business card development: today’s release of Business Cards+ by MOO.com. That’s purely down to what that “+” offers – a gorgeous print business card with the ability to transfer details electronically to a recipient’s smartphone via near field communication (NFC) technology.
“By just holding it up to an NFC-enabled smartphone, the card will allow users to exchange contact information, websites, and online portfolios. ‘It removes all of the friction of having to type in this URL,” says Richard Moross, Moo’s founder and CEO. “And you still get the beauty of the physical card that everyone gets and knows how to use.'”
The idea of NFC business cards is nothing new – MOO’s been teasing the possibility since 2012. To be fair, the delay can’t be laid entirely at MOO’s door; the rollout of smartphones capable of reading NFC signals has been a gradual one, beginning that same year.
And now with a single product MOO has effectively made redundant an entire cottage industry of business-card-scanning apps and devices, clumsy QR codes – the works. It also drastically increases the chances of someone actually holding on to your contact details in such a way as to actually be able to use them. The icing on the cake? You still have the ability to customize your cards with your own images and designs – up to five different ones per order.
Why Do I Care?
In short, because you sense which way the wind is blowing. However fancy your business card design, you can see that in an increasingly connected world, if your contact details aren’t in an easy-to-use digital format, few people are going to call or message you. It’s nothing personal, it’s only that people don’t have time to hunt down your paper card, type in your portfolio URL and so on.
How Does it Work?
A small computer chip embedded in the card itself instantly transmits your pre-loaded digital information to an NFC-enabled smartphone or other device simply by tapping the card against it – no special apps necessary. Here are just some of the things you can do:
And you’re not stuck with performing any one action with your cards. Log into MOO’s Manage Paper + platform and edit what happens when people interact with your card. Perhaps best of all: you can actually track – in real time – how many people have tapped your card and have interacted with its info!
Considering the level of versatility this gives you, the price tag – starting at $30 for 20 cards – seems pretty reasonable.
If it’s occurred to you that this technology should work with any printed communication, MOO is way ahead of you. These business cards are part of a larger initiative called Paper +, which offer fascinating potential for a host of direct mail pieces, brochures, posters – virtually anything that can be tapped against a smartphone.
While we’re sure there’s a long road of trial-and-error ahead of us with this new application of a been-around-a-while technology, we can’t help but think that MOO has gotten this new era off to an impressive start.