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Nearby API Paves the Way for Card Case, a Digital Business Card-Sharing App

About 10 billion business cards are printed in the U.S. each year. However, 90 percent of business card recipients toss them after one week. This highlights the fact that many people find it difficult to hold onto physical cards, regardless of the critical contact information is contains. Now, the Card Case app hopes to resolve this issue with its use of Nearby API.

The free app, which can be downloaded on the Google Play Store, utilizes Google’s Nearby API feature to make sharing quick and easy. Card Case asks users to create a contact card, similar to a business card – it can include a photo, name, email address, phone number, and any other contact information. From here, Card Case users can share their virtual business card with others who have the app via Nearby communication. Everything is compiled in a neat little digital stack whenever users want to flip through “cards” in the future.

Card Case is far from the first app to make a run at digitizing business cards. Bump, Jumpscan and SnapDat have all expanded the world of contact information sharing and made it an option for iOS users as well. 

Nearby was developed to connect devices that are in proximity to each other. Nearby Messages, for example, allows users to collaborate and hold conversations through a single seamless connection. Nearby Connections promote real-time, multiplayer gaming through Android devices.

Apps like Card Case utilize the Nearby API for the sharing of digital business cards. However, it isn’t just for work – the Radon app, for instance, is designed to make it easy to share everything from YouTube videos to photos. Thought acts as a local forum where people share their thoughts or statuses with individuals who are nearby.

With the release of Google Play Services 7.8, all developers gained access to the new API. Furthermore, developers did not need a Google Account in order to access Nearby.

“Today, it takes several steps — whether it’s exchanging contact information, scanning a QR code, or pairing via Bluetooth — to get a simple piece of information to someone right next to you,” said Ashkay Kannan, Google product manager. “Ideally, you should be able to just turn to them and do so, the same way you do in the real world. This is why we built Nearby.” 

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