The Future Of Business Cards: The Digital Approach

Series of four folded business card designsFor the last decade, marketing experts have speculated about the future of the business card. The digital revolution we are living in dictates that surely at some point, printed business cards will become obsolete and everyone will use inventions such as their business card phone apps, or electronic devices to transmit their contact details. One company has already taken the first step into merging digital and traditional methods of communicating through business cards, creating the NFC-enabled business card. NFC-enabled business cards look exactly like a conventional, functional printed paper business card. However, inside the card is a tiny chip and an antenna embedded in the paper. They collaborate to transmit data to mobile phones and other devices which are also NFC-enabled, when they are tapped together. This revolutionary twist on the traditional business card is poised to have a massive effect on certain industries. It is easy to see how a creative media company, an architect, a fashion designer or an advertisement executive might make full use of this new technology. Being able to transmit more than names, numbers and URLs means that they can send examples of their work in image files and tap-to-play videos sent straight to a NFC-enabled device. Musicians promoting their own music will be able to send influential people their tracks with ease. App developers or representatives of a company could use the chip to send a direct link to the relevant app store, meaning that with just a tap, a new acquaintance or important business contact has the app downloaded for their perusal. All it takes is a simple tapping motion between the card and the device, and the content is delivered for them to enjoy in their own time. So far, there are a few disadvantages which have been thrown up. The NFC-enabled business card means that, technically, distributors only need to carry around one business card with a chip in it. This can feel impersonal and impolite when someone wishes to trade business cards. Swapping virtual details with someone offering a tangible card can give a negative impression; like simply writing down one's phone number in exchange for a well thought-out business card. Many discerning industry experts also state that until the NFC can do something dramatically different from the ubiquitous QR code, there doesn't seem to be any point in investing so much money in a range of these cards. Whatever the future holds for business cards, the path has been made very clear. Though many industries and individuals right now are perfectly happy to get creative with and design their own business cards using traditional paper methods, it is quite obvious that the future is digital.