While I don’t acquire many business cards these days (thankfully), it’s still something that I occasionally have to deal with. While there are great services out there for turning business cards into contacts (CloudContacts being one that we’ve written about before), ABBYY is a good solution for those of you who want to take the time to do it yourself.
ABBYY is an app for your Android phone that uses your camera to “scan” a business card, then import the information into your contacts. While it doesn’t always work perfectly, its results are easily good enough for us to recommend, and it beats the hassle of inputting contacts manually or shelling out the cash for a business card scanner.
Inside the app itself, there are only 3 choices — Take a photo, Open photo or Options. Taking a photo brings up a very simple camera interface where you’ll center the business card and then take a picture of it. Once your picture is taken, ABBYY goes to work pulling off the information and then categorizing it for you.
As I said, the results aren’t perfect every time, but they’re very good. I’ll be using ABBYY on my upcoming trips to CTIA Wireless, Techonomy3 and The Next Web Conference. I’ll report back to you and let you know how it stands up to stylized text and the rest.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.