Share Your Contact Information Quickly, Easily, Without NFC


Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has a cool new feature: Android Beam, sometimes called “tap-to-send”. For those who haven’t heard about it, using an NFC-enabled phone running Ice Cream Sandwich, you simply touch the backs of two phones together, tap the screen and there you go, information shared!

Let’s say you’re like me, and are asked to share your business card a lot. Like me, you either run out of them quickly or forget to bring them with you. When the Android Beam hardware and software are finally commonplace, it won’t be an issue — but only if everyone I want to share my business card with is running an Android with the latest hardware and software.

What if I want to share my “digital business card today”, or want to share it with smartphones running other OSs, or without NFC?

QR Codes to the rescue!

First, if you haven’t done so already, go out and grab a copy of Barcode Scanner by Zxing (it’s free) if you’re using Android. On other platforms find an app that scans QR codes.

Next, you’ll need to create a QR code that includes all the contact information that you want to share.

If you’re using your Android-powered smartphone and running Barcode Scanner you can open your contacts app, find yourself (or add yourself if you haven’t done so already), and “share via barcode”. That’s a lot of taps. You could also take a trip over to, click on the “vCard” tab, enter your information, bump the size up to 300×300 or so, then click the “download” button — now you’ve got a picture of that QR code to share!

Next print your barcode and carry it with you. If you want to be even cooler, you can order a set of stickers from and put one on the back of your phone (like I did). Any time you want to share your business card with someone all they have to do is scan your sticker and their phone will save your information into their contacts list.

Quick, easy, cross-platform, and doesn’t rely on NFC. Pretty Sweet.

You might be tempted to take things a step further. But as cool as it sounds, you might want to steer clear of the QR Code temporary tattoo.

Download from the Android Market

Image: Web Designer Depot

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About The Author
Joe Levi
Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy". By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video. Read more about Joe Levi here.