Posted by: mikepearsonnz | November 9, 2009

iPhone Apps – Business Card Reader

Business Card Reader app

Business Card Reader app

Instant business card recognition right on your iPhone 3GS!

Business Card Reader by SHAPE Service GmbH exploits the 3-megapixel camera technology on your iPhone 3GS to deliver instant business card recognition.

The camera on older iPhone models (iPhone 2G or 3G) doesn’t have sufficient resolution.  You will need a macro lens attachment, such as Griffin Clarifi,  to improve photo quality.


Photograph the business card

Photograph the business card

Business Card Reader allows you to take a photo then “reads” it using text recognition technology.

The text recognition requires a good quality photo to do its job.

The iPhone must be correctly aligned with the business card – the app capture screen shows “This Side Up”.

The business card should be in sunlight or a bright light.  A business card with poor contrast will cause problems.

Ideally the the card should completely fill the screen without appearing out-of-focus.

Once you take the photo, there is a Preview screen, so you can simply Retake the photo if necessary.  When you are satisfied, Use starts the text recognition

App scans the text

App scans the text

Text Recognition

The text recognition scans down the image from 0-100%.

New Contact

Text is extracted and displayed in a ‘New Contact’ form, which you can edit.

OCR text for New Contact

OCR text for New Contact

In my trial the app correctly identified Mobile number, Work Fax number, Main number, Website URL  and Email Address with ease.

It recognised the address as a block of text, which required a little cutting/pasting to move text into the right sections into Postcode and Town.   It is still faster than manual retyping all the information from the business card.

The app also offers the convenient option of doing an immediate LinkedIn Lookup for the Name.


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