We've all observed how stacks of business cards rapidly accumulate on the corner of our desks, filling our wallets or ending up crushed at the bottom of our backpacks. Business cards don't really serve their original purpose anymore. However, on a busy day of networking when we meet new people, how else can we quickly give each other a way to contact us if they are interested in our professional skill set?
What it does
The mobile app "card.me" is incredibly practical and simple to use. Two users who have the app can tap their phones against one another and their digital business cards will be exchanged within seconds. Once the information is downloaded onto your phone, you can navigate to a gallery where all your digital business cards can be displayed. Through the use of easy scrolling, it becomes easy to locate the information of the person you need.
If one person doesn't have the app, there's still an option to manually take a photo of a business card, where it will be stored in an album of other photos you've taken of cards.
How we built it
"Card.me" was programmed as an Android app using the Android Studio. The layout of each screen was built through XML while the basic functions of the app and buttons were built with Java. All of our files were shared and collaborated through GitHub.
Challenges we ran into
When working on this project, we learned that Android is a steep learning curve. There were many things that we didn't realize we needed, so overall it was more complicated than it initially seemed. Next, there were difficulties testing the code. The biggest part of the idea was the ability to tap two mobile devices and exchange information, but in order to test it out, we needed to have two phones that could run the app. Only two members of our team had an Android device, and one wasn't connecting to the computer, so a lot of the code had to be written based on predictions of how it would turn out.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud that we were able to make an app that can serve a problem that we've all experienced. Our teamwork throughout the hackathon was very smooth and we collaborated well as a team. Furthermore, we're proud of the design and aesthetics of our app. Considering how none of us previously knew how to develop an Android app, we're pretty impressed with how far we came in such a short time.
What we learned
None of us were really familiar with GitHub before, so it was a bit of a challenge to learn how to use it to collaborate on code. By the end of the hackathon, we all had a decent grasp on how to use GitHub. Additionally, we learned how to combine our ideas to make a better final product.
What's next for card.me
There are several opportunities for card.me to become more potent and appealing to use. First, we could implement an auto-scan feature on card.me that recognizes the phone number on a digital business card and allows users to call the phone number with one click. Next, we could set up a global database of digital business cards so that users can search through the contact information of others even before they meet up face-to-face. Finally, card.me could partner with companies offering business networking events, making its service a prerequisite in order to attend the event. The app can easily be made profitable by offering small fees for the customization of digital business cards.