by May 11, 2002 0 comments

This small USB device scans your business cards, sorts the card information into proper fields and then stores them into a database. You can then search through this database later, on any particular field to find the contact you are looking for. You can also store its database file (.biz) on a network drive so that users who have installed the BizCard software, will be able to access this database across your network. The application also lets you export its database into other formats which are supported by a large variety of PIMs, applications and hand-held devices. You can even create your own export format. 

This USB device can best be used by companies where people need a combined contacts database

Price: Rs 19,500
Meant for: Offices and individuals
Features: Maximum resolution 600 dpi, 24 bit, color and black & white scanning, USB interface, maximum scan size 4”x 6”, supports Win 98/Me/2000 or higher
Pros: Scans multiple cards in succession, easy to use, drag ‘n’ drop selected data
Cons: Noisy, Sometimes has difficulty with vertical cards, and cards with colored background
Contact: Convergent Communications, Bangalore. 
Tel: 080-6612973—76.

Since it draws its power from the USB cable, it has no power cord. It supports Win 98/Me/ 2000. We even tried it on a machine with Win XP Pro and it worked just fine. Once installed all of the device’s functions can be carried out using the BizCard Reader software. The device has a maximum resolution of 600 dpi, and a maximum scanning area of 4”x 6”. The whole process of scanning a card, recognizing its fields and storing takes only around 13 secs. We tried scanning many different types of cards, and overall were quite impressed with the results. However, some recognition mistakes did manage to creep in, which had to be corrected manually. A good feature here is that as you move across the different scanned fields, the software automatically takes you to the location it interpreted from the original scanned image of the card. You can also easily highlight portions from the original scanned image of the card, and drag that specific portion to a particular field in the database. Also, the accompanying software lets you scan multiple cards in succession. This is useful if you have a stack of cards to be scanned.

Apart from the various cards fields, the database contains a scanned image of the card itself, so you can refer to the original card also if you want. The device also doubles up as a regular scanner allowing you to scan color photographs. You can save the scanned images in JPEG, BMP and PCX formats.

The Bottom Line At a price of Rs 19,500, the device is probably out of reach of many individual users. But it can be great for companies, where people need a combined contacts database. 

Sachin Makhija at PCQ Labs

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