Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Untouted Tech of Vcards and QR Codes

This is a QR Code, This one holds vCard info.

I've got a question for you. Well, actually, I might have more than one.

  1. When was the last time that you used a vCard?  
  2. Do you know what they are? 
  3. Have you explained them to anyone else? 
  4. Have you sent or received them? 
  5. And, would you know how to share export/import them? 

vCards are a great little text files of contact information, if you want to really get into the study of them you might want to check out the wiki page about them.

QR codes can hold vCard info in an image, and with the proper bar-code scanner on your phone you can import the above image with the same info as the vCard. Very handy.  In fact, while writing this, I scanned the above info into my phone from the QR Code above.  It showed up on my phone as:

Ken Starks
307 Ferguson Street

But I'm digressing into QR Code info, vs the old vCard text file.

OK, back to the vCard stuff, and why they're important and how they're different and better is some ways than a QR Code. vCards are still used in the old feature phones, and they're easy to text to someone. They're also easy to export (backup) them to an SD card or on your computer.  This can also be very useful if you've got a friend or family member that DIDN'T back up their info, and lost all of their contacts. Maybe even yourself. You can text or email them selected .vcf files from your computer and they'll be able to easily import those shared contacts (other family members perhaps?) into their phone. Keep in mind that if they have a lowly feature phone that texting them the info might be easiest way to share contacts vs email. Speaking of email one can also import vcard contacts into Gmail.

If you were to open up a vCard in your text editor you'll see that it looks something like this.

There's not a lot to them. It's worth the extra time and effort to get to know your phone so you can share them.  Granted a QR code and Barcode scanner might be the easiest way to import contacts, but when was the last time you had a folder full of QR Codes to scan or share?  Yea, me neither. 

There's plenty of sites to create QR codes, etc.  I used Moongate to create the above code. Are there better sites? Why?

So again, I will ask, when was the last time that you used a vCard or scanned a random QR Code?