75° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy

Gadget Guy: Poken

Published On: Dec 08 2009 05:11:00 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 15 2009 05:01:02 AM CST

Poken Spark Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Price: $19.95

Business cards have been around for ages and are a quick and easy way to share our contact information with others. The downside, they often end up in our briefcases, pockets or purses and have a tendency not to always end up in our address books. And worse, they?re never organized in alphabetical order so it?s hard to find the person you?re looking for.

So how do you fix this? Make it electronic, right? That?s the idea behind the Poken.

The ones with cartoon characters are called the Poken Spark and there?s also an executive collection called the Poken Pulse that is a 2gb USB flash drive and Poken all in one.

So how?s it work? You buy a Poken for $20 and register it at Then carry it around with you and use it as your business card.

Meet someone out at an event and want to keep in touch afterwards? If they have a Poken, just touch your Poken to the person?s Poken and the two devices will share contact information instantly. Once you see the green light on the device you know your contact information was shared successfully.

With the Poken Spark you can collect as many as 64 friends and the Poken Pulse is virtually unlimited. Just bring it back after, plug into your computer and you?ll notice now that you have pending friends on your account page.

Once you accept them you?ll not only have their contact information but also their Linked In, Facebook, and other social network names.

And building your own contact card is easy. Simply add in whatever fields you want. And because it?s digital as you become part of other social networks or change jobs, as soon as you update your Poken business card, all of your friends and colleagues will have the contact information changed on their devices.

And all of these friends can instantly be exported from the website to Outlook and other email programs via downloadable vcards.

So how did it rate?

The Upsides: What I liked about these is how easy it is to trade your contact information. Just touch Pokens, look for the green light and you know the next time you plug your Poken into your computer you?ll have that person?s contact information as well as links to their social media profiles. They?re not that pricey either - just $20 for the Spark and $35 for the USB flash drive version with no monthly fee.

The Downsides: Until they catch on, it may be a while before you start running into people with them. Also, like traditional business cards, you do have to remember to physically carry this little device around. They do have a lanyard so you can clip them onto a keychain or purse if you?d like.

The Bottom Line: It?s definitely a unique idea and would work particularly well for the business person that?s always running out of physical cards. Although for the time being you?d still have to carry around the paper version as not many people have them?yet!

  • Fireworks

    Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

    Best cities for 4th of July celebrations

    A grand celebration of the nation's independence, projects that American households will spend an average of $370.75 on Fourth of July 2016 festivities, up 7% from 2015. With Independence Day festivities in mind, WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities based on how well they balance holiday cost and fun, using 16 different metrics such as the duration of fireworks shows, average gas prices, weather forecasts and more. Here are the top 15 large cities for Fourth of July celebrations:

  • work at google

    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Top employers for new grads

    Each year, research firm Universum Global ranks companies based on where undergrads say they'd most like to work after they graduate. In this particular study, Universum surveyed more than 267,000 business and engineering students in the world 12 largest economies, resulting in this list of outstanding employers. You can go here to see the full list.

  • Istanbul airport attack

    Suicide bombers attack Turkey airport

    At least 41 people have been killed and 239 others wounded in a terror attack on Istanbul Ataturk Airport in Turkey, Istanbul, Gov. Vasip Sahin told Turkey's state-run news agency TRT.