I now have two POPWings cards, as I made a new one with my professional contact information on Gemalto’s MWC booth yesterday. I also have had the ability to “pop” one or two persons, giving me a better experience of the application.
So, I owe an apology to POPWings here. When I first tried their application, I scanned my own business card (the only one I had access to). The app didn’t propose me to add/update my contacts, which I thought was really bad. In fact, this was a feature, not a bug: This option wasn’t proposed because my contact information already is already in my contacts.
So, the application is not that closed after all, which is very positive. However, I kept thinking about the idea of NFC business card during MWC (after looking at more NFC apps), and I still believe that the current form of POPWings will face major difficulties to succeed widely, mostly because they are trying to get us to adopt a new social network. Here, I see three ways to get more success with NFC business cards:
- Adding a NFC card service to an existing social network. Of course, LinkedIn comes to mind immediately. They may need to add an idea of “loose” connection, since we don’t necessarily connect to anybody that gives us their business card, but they are a well-established professional social network, and we already keep our LinkedIn profiles updated.
- Defining an innovative service beyond business cards. Here, I immediately think of VRM, and in particular to Trustfabric and Mydex. By providing services that go beyond the simple relationship between people and businesses, these companies could provide business cards. Another interesting aspect is that, as these companies manage relationships between individuals and businesses, we here have an individual holding a phone, and a business person holding a NFC business card, which perfectly makes sense.
- Participating to an open ecosystem. Here, the NFC card would provide (a link to) information about a business and/or a person, and to allow this information to be used in various ways by a variety of applications belonging to the ecosystem. The idea behind this is that the user who scans the card may should be in control of what they want to do with every piece of information they get. Of course, POPWings could define such an ecosystem, but global actors like Google are more likely to have the ability to do so. For instance, the default behavior when scanning a card could be to add it to the contacts, with the possibility to override this behavior if other applications are available.
So, after the concept, I can’t wait to see POPWings 2.0, hoping that they will bring the concept further than what they have done today.