Career networking sites like LinkedIn were supposed to replace business cards, but exchanging email addresses with a smartphone just isn’t as smooth as handing over the real thing. Last year LinkedIn acquired a mobile business card transcription service called CardMunch to bridge the gap between an in-person meeting and an online connection. Now the network reports that CardMunch has scanned over 2 million cards and counting.
The iPhone app uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to take a picture of the card, which is sent to a team of transcribers who record the information and send it back to the user for storage. Created by Sid Viswanathan, Manu Kumar, and Bowei Gai, CardMunch first launched in August 2010. In October of that year, Social Times saw the app win the SuccessCon-Test at FailCon in San Francisco before LinkedIn nabbed it in January 2011.
The app relaunched in November 2011 with some new features. Once the card is uploaded, LinkedIn will map the information with the contact’s LinkedIn profile and augment it with photos, common connections, past work experience and education. It makes it a lot easier to match a face to a name, and the number of cards scanned saved workers an estimated four tons of cardstock that would have otherwise weighed down their pockets.
The following infographic breaks down the app’s major milestones and statistics, including the number of times a company’s business card contained the word “bacon.” Here’s hoping CardMunch becomes available on the Android sometime soon.
Infographic courtesy of LinkedIn. Featured image by Roberts via Shutterstock.