Monday, December 07, 2009

Business Cards Go Green With Poken

Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen
Going to slip under the sea
As the ocean warms and the nasty storms
Are convinced we can’t do three-fifty.

The start of the climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark this week has me waxing lyrical. Despite the deniers and the cynics who are convinced we can no more get to 350 ppm of CO2 than we can stop sucking high fructose sugar water in the handy 2 liter travel bottle, I remain hopeful. People nay-sayed acid rain until it started dissolving war memorials and everything else made of stone. Then we up and stopped it in a matter of a few years. This, too, will be dealt with.

With green the theme, I’m onto something that may well change the way we network. No, not a threat to Ethernet. This is about person to person networking. You know, the kind where you all get in a room and start passing around business cards. In just a matter of minutes you have absolutely no idea which face goes with each card or what these people really have to offer. Isn’t there a better solution in these 2.0 everything days?

There sure is, and it’s gaining momentum as we speak. It’s a technical solution consisting of a small hardware tag and a complementary online portal in the cloud. Is there any doubt that technology would once again step up to save the day?

The solution I’m talking about is called Poken and it rhymes with token. The token is a small plastic device that looks either like a standard USB flash drive or a cartoon character. It your choice of whether to go hip or go square. They work the same.

Each device has a big white hand with four fingers. It’s looks so friendly. That’s by design, of course. When you meet someone else that has a Poken, you touch their hands together. They start glowing green to indicate something electronic is going on. That something is a data transfer over a low frequency near field comm link. You send them a small data dump that has your name, phone number and social networking links. They reciprocate by sending you the same. It’s all stored in the Poken.

When you are done for the day or just get into an upload mood, you pull out the hand and plug it into a USB jack on your computer. You are automatically connected to the pokenHub, a personalized portal that uploads the contact info stored on your Poken and displays it in a timeline format. If you can remember about when you met somebody or who you were with at the time, you can likely find them right away and see just what they’re all about. Data transfers and your portal are secured. That’s handy if you don’t really want to admit knowing some of these people.

This probably isn’t the end of business cards as we know them. After all, we still need to use something for a bookmark. Or do we? That Amazon Kindle and the new Barnes & Noble e-readers are about to pull the plug on book printing. In a few years... who knows?

If you’d like to learn more about Poken and perhaps get your sales, marketing or project team connected, then you should Meet Poken. If you are more of a lone wolf, you can simply order one of these for yourself and use it at clubs, class reunions or other get-togethers where you may want to rekindle and old friendship or get to know someone new. Will they Poken you? Of course. Who can resist a three eyed space alien, a panda or a vampire that hangs around your neck?

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