Recently I reviewed a new business card reader by Readdle that uses OCR to translate the picture of the business card that you take to text. OCR is not perfect and therefore will usually require some manual checking, verifying and corrections. These corrections are made by you, a human. What if you could hand a stack of business cards to your Administrative Assistent and have him/her enter them for you? If you've got an Admin, then you probably can. For the rest of us it's up to us to get our Contacts entered on our own. One of my readers suggested that I take a look at CardMunch, so I did.
CardMunch uses humans
The big difference between CardMunch and all the other Business Card Reader Apps is that when you take the picture of the business card with CardMunch, it uploads to a LinkedIn powered service that employs real human beings to transcribe the business card, proof read it and then send it back down to your iDevice with a push notification to let you know it's done. Best of all it's FREE! Wow! Once you upload the photo of the card via the App it can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes on average to get the transcribed card back. However, in every one that I've tried to date they have come back 100% correct requiring no further editing on my part. You are required to have a free LinkedIn account to use the App. Since the cards are being transcribed by humans it doesn't matter how complex the card is in terms of hard to read graphic backgrounds that would confuse the OCR based solutions. Once you get the transcribed card back down into the App you can then choose to add it to your iOS Contacts or just keep it in the app. Bonus Tip: When you turn your device to landscape orientation it gives you a cover flow style view of all your scanned cards. Cool!
Sounds great! What's the downside?
While this is very magical and seems perfect, there is one bit of concern and that is that you are submitting your business cards/contacts to a 3rd party. This may be a concern to those who have Privacy issues in general.