09/10/2015

Moo Moovs beyond the traditional business card

Moo, the company founded by Richard Moross MBE, which traditionally focussed on making very pretty business cards and other stationary has now added NFC technology to its portfolio.

It's has branded the technology as BusinessCard+ and users can utilise all the normal Moo tools for designing a regular business card, but sandwiched inside is an NFC chip and antenna. It's possible to have the cards preprogrammed before they leave Moo which is a boon for Apple users as NFC support is lacking.

The Moo NFC service can be set-up in several ways: -

  • Embed a URL
  • Action Library
  • 3rd party Actions
  • Maker Channel

The embed a URL just puts in a standard URL (with the length limitation based on the storage of the NFC chip), this could point anywhere such as a website.

The Action Library is really a Moo URL redirector, whereby the URL in the chip points to Moo, which then deliver an action which can be: -

  • Website Link i.e. a standard URL
  • Digital Business Card i.e. the redirection points to a vCard
  • Connect your social network i.e. a social network URL
  • Promote your app i.e. a link to an app download

3rd party actions can be: -

  • Connect on LinkedIn i.e. points to your LinkedIn URL
  • Navigate with CityMapper i.e. a link to a CityMapper location
  • Videochat with appear.in i.e. a link to your appear.in user
  • Listen with Spotify i.e. a Spotify URL
  • Meet with Sunrise i.e. a Sunrise link

The Maker channel supports an IFTTT recipe.

Once a URL has been put into the card, it's difficult to change (well for Mac/iOS users anyway), Android, Blackberry and Windows users are in luck as the OS has native support for NFC and many devices have NFC readers/writers in them and it's easy to get software to support them which means the URL can be changed.

For users that don't have the ability to write to the NFC chips, the Moo Action libraries are really the way to go, as then the actions can be changed on the fly but just logging into Moo and accessing their Paper+ service which allows users to enter what action should be performed from now on for the particular cards selected.

Mac users are really left out in the cold here, though the iPhone 6/6+ and Apple Watch (and newer versions) have NFC bits in them, they're only currently accessible for contactless payment and there's no direct access to the NFC subsystem from the operating system. MacOS X users are also currently out of luck as though there is some support in the operating system, it's drastically changed in recent version of MacOS X and old card reader/writer software no longer works. It is possible to 'hack support', but not really easy for 'normal users', see RFIdiot.org.

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