CardScan Personal: Business Card Reader
by Richard Serbin

card scanIf you are like me, you have piles of business cards all over the place waiting to be organized for ready reference. Corex Technologies Corporation has a line of business card scanners and organizers to help solve this problem.

After writing the initial review, then I discovered a software update. What a difference! Scans which were barely readable before were much sharper and the software's interpretation which, on some cards was 10 to 90% gibberish, were now 80 to 100% accurate. The color model would add a whole new dimension to card scanning.

I selected from among the hundreds of business cards I have stacked on my desk, those which I anticipated would be a challenge to any scanner. These included a card which was printed in the vertical rather than the horizontal orientation, with the name of the business reversed out and the printing in light gray ink. It did present the entire business card on screen but was unable to determine that the name of the business was in the reversed out logo. It handled the light gray type with only one minor exception. It also didn't know what to do with the hours of operation printed on the card and put them in the "2nd address field".

It did a pretty good job with a Department of Homeland Security business card which was jam packed with multiple addresses, phone numbers and other information. Its information was all correctly recorded in the proper fields in the contact record. This product knows who not to mess with! If I had trouble reading the card, the software also had a problem.

In addition to a solidly built scanner (4.5" x 1.375" x 2.75" x 8 oz.), software is included that captures the card image, turns it right side up if necessary (automatically), processes it, displays a black & white copy of the card and usually places the information on the card in fields of a contact record including (but not limited to), name, title, company, address, phone number, etc. These contact records can be exported to other popular contact managers such as ACT!, Outlook Express, Palm OS devices, etc. Or, you can use its internal contact file system. The small size of the CardScan Personal is easily packed in a briefcase making it convenient to take on business trips. It is powered solely by the USB connection to your computer – no power bricks needed.

If CardScan suspects an error, it is highlighted in yellow. For the international business traveler, it can read multiple languages and formats. Do you need to make a direct mail? Printing labels is simple. It’s as simple as the Search function. You can also drag and drop info from your e-mail program. And last, it takes the work out of tracking contacts made at a networking or conference event.

Impressive as this product and its software are, as I opened the box something impressed me even more than anything else in the box – a note from the Corex CEO Jonathan Stern. There is a note from Mr. Stern thanking the buyer for the purchase and inviting the user to call or e-mail him directly if the user encounters any "issues" with his product.

At $129 retail, the CardScan Personal isn’t cheap but then, quality rarely is. It is not difficult to see how much time and money went into the development of this impressive product. Those who have read my product reviews in the past know how brutal I can be. CardScan Personal has my unreserved endorsement. The only improvement I can see would be color which I anticipate would enhance the accuracy of the information transferred from the scan to the contact record. For more info, software updates and answers go

Richard Serbin is a HAL-PC member who is an international commercial real estate broker. He may be contacted