Wednesday, August 5, 2009


[Editor's note to Stephen Smith: I am still working on the draft of my "Evolution of EGO workspace" post.]

Oprichter van poken / Founder of Poken DoYouPokenImage by Erwin Boogert via Flickr

After I watched Robert Scoble's interview with Stéphane Doutriaux, founder & CEO of Poken, I got a strong desire to get this kind of new digital business card that you could use to share your social media online profiles with people you meet.

I want to order a 12 pack of Pokens so I could start sharing them to my friends and business contacts. It would be a perfect give away gadget to members of your social & business networks. I am also interested in joining Poken's "viral distribution network." I want to spread the good word about this new type of business card. I have some ideas on organizations, businesses and individuals that could be interested in this gadget. I think that their vision is described in a nice way (How Does It Work):

We’re not another social network. You’ve already got that.
We've thought bigger to let you instantly bridge the gap between the people you meet in the real world and those you stay connected to online.
So, do you poken ?

Here is another excerpt from the site (FAQ):

Why do I have to carry around an extra gadget? Isn't there some way to do this in my phone?

Sort of but not really. Since the beginning of mobile phones and PDAs there have been myriad proposed solutions to easy sharing of contact information or "replacing the business card." To show our age, several members of Poken's staff fondly remember beaming vCards in infrared between our Palm Pilots back in the day. However, nothing has ever emerged as a standard for a couple of reasons. The first inhibitor has been hardware/OS/application fragmentation--basically different phones often can't talk well with others. Recently there have been more and more hardware/OS/application-independent phone solutions for contact exchange via BlueTooth or visual codes. However, these also have not really caught on. We believe that it is because the user interfaces too unwieldy, requiring the user to type in codes, launch applications, etc.

Our solution is meant to address these issues by providing an extremely simply mechanism for contact exchange: the high-four. It is natural and it mimics the way we interact with other humans every day. The security is built into the hardware so there are no codes to enter and no risk of someone stealing your information. It requires a small, extra hardware device to carry around so we've designed that device to be cool and fun--something we hope you would like to carry around with you anyway. Perhaps we're tilting at windmills by trying to create a social replacement for the business card, but we really think we're on to something!

Attorney business card 1895Image via Wikipedia

I think that this device could the answer to my question on how I should store contact information in the future. I still have to come up with a solution for the regular business card, as I say in my comment on the post, Poken: It’s Silly, And It’s Meant to Replace Your Business Card by Robert Scoble. Are you using CardScan, CloudContacts or Evernote in order to capture data of business cards?

It is interesting to read about their product plans for the future. Here is an excerpt from Josh Bernoff's post, What we can learn from Poken.

The Poken has two parts. One is a plastic shell which you choose to reflect the some side of your identity -- mine is a little tiger. The other is the little hand part, which has a USB connector. You plug the Poken into your computer, it connects to the Poken site, and you enter as many of your social network IDs (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) as you're willing to share. Then you carry it around with you. If you meet somebody else you want to befriend, you "high-four" them, your Pokens exchange ID information when they come in close proximity, and the little light glows to tell you it worked.When you get home you can connect to your computer and see the information from your new friends. It's like exchanging a business card, only quicker and with more info. (Forrester, July 19, 2009.)

Do you want to keep in touch in new cool way? Here is my proposal to my friends, business contacts and supporters. I want to buy a 12-pack of Pokens, but I can't afford to pay all of them by myself at once at the moment. If you want to get one piece of Poken and help me get going with this project, please contact me by email and we could discuss the details. I was thinking of collecting circa $ USD 20 per person / Poken and then order the kit of 12 Pokens when I have got about $ 180 in total. The total price, including the shipping cost, is stated to be $ 201. I will give away one Poken to a special person of the pool of buyers.

Do You PokenImage by YO |X| YNTL via Flickr

[Editor's note: Talking about cute gadgets, my brother showed me a new pet robot by Takara Tomy.]