June 09, 2009

Dynamic, robust pointers inside of business cards

I wrote this idea down on October 17, 2001, when I was just getting into the groove at Palm.

"What if you exchanged Bluetooth MAC addresses and Bluetooth friendly names when you beamed business cards to someone? This would imply bi-directional card exchange when beaming, which in itself is an obvious? idea. If you cached these names, you could significantly cut down discovery time for Bluetooth, assuming many of the devices you interact with are on a repeating, frequent basis."

I'm still hugely enamored with the idea of electronic business cards, made popular, for a short time, by Palm handhelds. I can't tell you how many paper business cards I get at conferences, etc, and what a royal PITA they are to deal with. Exchanging business cards, aka contact information, is a time honored business tradition, but the tradition has not caught up with our technology. In a digital world, why do I get little paper scraps all the time?!

An electronic business card today, however, should be more than the static contents of a vCard. Electronic business cards need to be a handle to a dynamic location in the cloud, which in turn is a series of pointers to my social graph. Where I am, who I am, and how to reach me across the myriad of social channels I maintain. Dynamic links are the key, and pointers to all of my addresses. Plaxo and others tinker with this idea, but I don't think the idea has been taken to its full capability.

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