Every once in a while, I come across an Android application that is really quite impressive. CamCard Business Card Reader is one such app, and it has a very singular purpose — OCR recognition to get information from a business card into your contacts. Believe it or not, this application works flawlessly and could save anyone who collects business cards a lot of time.
I don't typically exchange business cards, but after using CamCard only once, I immediately realized just how useful this app is. Not only is CamCard simple to install, but it's amazingly easy to use. Let's take a closer look at this tool — from install to use.
- Auto-detect text orientation on card
- Auto crop and enhance
- Batch mode
- QR code recognition
- Email recognition
- LinkedIn search and invite
- Display corresponding image
- Double-side card image support
- Excel export
- Password protection
- Multi-language support
- Add notes
There are two versions of CamCard: Pro and Lite. The main difference between the two is the Lite version limits the scanning to 10 cards the first week of use and then only two cards per week. The Pro version ($11.99 USD) removes that limit. So, if you are a serious collector of business cards, the Pro version will be well worth the money spent.
As you might expect, installation of CamCard is easy from within the Android Market. Follow these steps:
- Open up the Android Market from the app drawer
- Search for "camcard" (no quotes)
- Tap the Download button
- Tap the Accept & download button
That's it. Once CamCard is installed, it can be found in the app drawer of your Android device.
As I mentioned, CamCard is simple to use. From the main user interface (see Figure A), tap the Capture Card button, and then align the business card with the frame (see Figure B).Figure A
The small circle on the left side of the bottom row is the Settings button.
When the image is being captured, CamCard will automatically align and enhance the image so that OCR works perfectly — no need for any manual adjustments on your part.Figure B
Once the card is within the frame, tap the Capture button (bottom center) to begin the process.
After CamCard has successfully processed the text from the business card, it will open up a new contact entry. From this entry, you can check to make sure all the information is correct and even add more if needed.
As you can see (in Figure C), if the business card uses a less-than-standard font, the recognition might be a bit off. Most business cards will not go this route, but I thought it was important to offer the warning.Figure C
My hair stylist will be happy she gave me a new business card.
There are a couple of other features in the application that are worth mentioning. The Card Holder stores images of all the cards you've scanned in, and the Load Image feature allows you to load images from your device's Gallery to be scanned into CamCard, which is handy if you don't have time to actually save the card into your contacts.
If you are one of the busy, on-the-go types who depends heavily on contacts and receives a massive amount of business cards, I highly recommend CamCard. This application will save you a lot of time and will also help keep those business cards and contacts better organized than a stack on your desk or in a drawer.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.