Me2, a new app that just went live on the App Store, allows users to transfer their contact information in a way that is sure to stir up some familiar (and perhaps not so fond) memories for any computer user over the age of 12. Using similar technology to the modems of yesteryear, the free application transfers data between two iPhones using a brief series of audible chirps. To send a contact, users simply push their phones together, select which contact they’d like to send, and wait for the 1-second burst of sound to transfer their information. It might be old school, but it’s very cool.
And while the technology involved may be relatively ancient, it’s also potentially more practical than some of the other solutions we’ve seen. Apps like FriendBook and Nameo use geolocation to figure out when two nearby phohnes are attempting to send information, and then relay it over the network. This works fine if you’ve got a full signal, but you might not be so lucky in the depths of a corporate office. Because Me2 doesn’t rely on GPS or the cellular network, it should work everywhere.
That said, this ‘beeping’ form of communication also has its issues. Because the phones literally have to ‘hear’ each other, you’ll need to position them so that their speakers and microphones are touching, which might be a bit awkward in a business environment. And while the screeching sounds of yore might have their charm, it would be nice if the apps used an inaudible frequency to transfer the data (which we’ve been told is possible).
Me2 is currently only advertised as working on the iPhone 3G (some reviews indicate that it won’t allow users to communicate to the first generation iPhone), but it’s likely that these issues could be remedied in future updates. The application is also only allows for one contact transfer at a time, though this too could probably be easily changed.
I’ve made no secret that I think business cards are a pain in the ass. Me2 probably won’t be the app to replace the paper cards once and for all (I suspect a wireless technology like Bluetooth would be more secure and less awkward), but it’s still a cool idea and is worth checking out if for nothing else than its novelty factor.