Every now and then, I find a tech gadget that truly changes the way I do fairly routine things. Like sharing contact information.
At a business conference I attended this week, I watched dozens of people making new contacts and trying to add them to their contacts list or find them on LinkedIn. I never saw anyone offering a business card and when I asked around, everyone said they no longer carry them. One person even laughed and said, “I don’t use business cards, I’m a millennial.”
Say this about business cards though, they sure make it easy to exchange information about yourself or your business. Without a card of some kind, people routinely swap phone numbers like this: Person A: “send me a text with your number and I’ll add you.” Person B: “got it, what’s your name and company name again?” For the next few minutes, both people will enter name, company, email, and other information they can add to their contacts list.
Sure it works, but with all the technology available to us, there has to be an easier way. I found Linq.
A startup company offering people a way to quickly add all of their information and share it with new contacts. Linq offers business cards, buttons to affix to a smartphone case, and wristbands that store a chip using NFC, or Near Field Communications, which all phones use these days.
Adding all of your contact information to someone else’s Contacts app is as simple as tapping on the Linq device. When I first received a Linq business card I tapped it with my iPhone and was prompted to set up a Linq profile. Here you can build a profile that looks something like a LinkedIn page. Add a profile picture, company name, phone numbers, social media links (including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube).
Once your profile is complete, all a new contact needs to do is tap the Linq device with their phone. The tap opens your Linq profile page and the person you’re sharing it with can add all of that information by creating a new contact in their phone’s Contacts App.
I found the business card is helpful, but at a conference or location where you’re meeting a lot of potential clients or customers, the Linq Mesh Bracelet is easy to use and quickly adds my information to their phone. On the Linq website, I can see everyone who scanned or tapped on my information and, if they build a Linq profile for themselves, it gets loaded on my contacts list.
The Linq devices also have a QR code where people can scan the code with their smartphone’s camera to access the information and add it to their contacts list. Linq will also add a card in my iPhones Apple Wallet app with the QR code in case my wallet is not near or I’ve forgotten to wear the wristband.
A Linq plastic or bamboo business card costs $10, a button you can affix to a smartphone is also $10 and the mesh stretch wristband is $15. The first wristband the company sent me was made out of plastic and it never worked. On the company’s website, that item is sold out and the company founder told me they had issues with the plastic and are now offering the mesh wristband that comes in white, black, black, and white, along with a couple of colorful options.
The company did send these devices to me for review but did not ask me to say anything nice about the product. They didn’t need to. As someone who hates carrying business cards to events and who equally hates getting a lot of business cards at events, these devices do what those old business cards did and more.