For anyone that hates leaving tradeshows and conferences with stacks of business cards, brochures and catalogues, Belgian start-up Getyoo has just released a device that could make your life a lot easier: the Clickey. As of today, this interactive USB key-like gadget can be purchased online for €25 so that you can leave professional events empty-handed. Well, almost.
So, essentially Clickeys are USB keys that can communicate with one another. Thus, you can upload your contact information onto the device (as you would with a business card) and can then send the info to other Clickeys in “a single click” (according to Getyoo’s pitch).
Even better than simply sending contact info is the fact that the little Clickey can also read barcodes and recognize certain tags of objects and documents at tradeshow stands and booths. Translation: you can simply use your Clickey to pick-up digital copies of brochures, documents and catalogues instead of lugging around paper copies. And since all the information is digital and as easy to upload as any info on a USB key, organization of professional contacts and documents just got that much easier.
But Getyoo isn’t the first start-up to come up with the idea of the digital business card exchange via communicating USB keys; Swiss start-up Poken actually has developed a technology that strongly resembles that of the Clickey. Plus, Poken’s platform also allows users to personnalize their digital business cards and add details from the social and professional networks they’re on. Oh, and they just raised €1.8 million. In the US, Mingle360 also develops a similar communicating USB key-like device: the MingleStick.
Yet, Getyoo’s Clickey differentiates itself from the others with its capability to read tags and barcodes. Pretty much the Clickey is a hybrid of the Poken or the MingleStick and MobileTag, Pikadeo or Pixee smartphone applications – which are able to recognize barcodes and images.
Let’s not forget, however, that in order for this whole digital business card exchange to work everyone needs to have his or her own Clickey or similar device. This is perhaps the main reason why Getyoo has already started to develop an application that would allow smartphones to function like Clickeys – which would cut-out having to buy and carry around another device altogether. Nice.
According to the 20-something-year-old co-founders, Geoffroy Simon and Alexis Tinel, developing their technology on USB keys rather than smartphones was much less costly and also helped to avoid compatability issues with various smartphone operating systems. While there are already some smartphone applications that have similar functionalities, like Bump, there are often limitations when the 2 phones aren’t using the same operating system. Still, this is not necessarily the case – as we can see with My Name is E, another business-contact exchange application developed in the Netherlands.
Despite everything, Getyoo seems nonetheless to have a rather promising idea and is already in the process of closing a first round of funding. But obviously the question remains: will people abandon the idea of carrying around stacks of business cards in place of this new little Clickey? If you are planning to buy a Clickey or use a similar digital solution, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with us!