Posts Tagged ‘Poken’

Poken: Business cards made social

This weekend, I was introduced to a neat device, called a Poken, by my friend Preetam Rai.

You google. You text. You chat. Do you Poken?

What is a Poken you ask? A cute little device (that comes with several different characters, one of which is a geisha even), that is the business card of the 21st century! Its a USB device, that contains a “key”, which pairs to your profile online that you create on their website. It then uses Near Field Communications (NFC) to “beam” business cards over (you do this via touch – the term beam seems so 1998, ala what Palm used to call it). When you get back to your computer, you can now see all the contacts you’ve met, and connect with them on the social networks that they’re on. Limited profiles exist as well, so maybe all you want to do is share an email address.

Nifty, yes? The problem with traditional business cards is that when you get back after an event, you have to parse them. The Poken takes away this trouble, as its all point and click. The device sells for about USD$27 at Bic Camera in Japan, though if you get it in bulk online, its about USD$16 with postage.

Can this work in Malaysia? At a little over RM50 (RM100 retail), I might be a tad bit sceptical. However, its all the rage in Japan. Its not for sale in South East Asia (yet), and its much cheaper than a Palm device than can beam over business cards… What do you think?

The Poken itself, is not a social network. It just carries contact information. I found it interesting (in a limiting sense), that you could only carry 64 contacts at one time, before syncing. So if you happen to meet a 65th person, your first contact gets lost!

Elsewhere on the Web, Crunchgear has a review, which is the Japanese site (they were smart – they sold Poken’s in night clubs! They even have Poken meetups, and more), and last but not least, check out a video, from a Google Tech Talk, titled Poken: Extending Online Social Networking Into the Real World.

And in case you can’t see the embedded video above (coming in via an RSS reader or something), check out the Poken playlist.