May 4, 2023

The Humble Business Card

They have been with us since the end of 17th century.

They contain vital information about us.

And their design holds hidden codes about how we want to be remembered.

However, these small cards of paper have been coming under increasing pressure.

The ease with which we can transfer data about ourselves without using card continues to improve.

Near-field communication has proved a hit with the technically minded for many years.

The ease, speed and confidentiality with which we can transfer detail about ourselves continues to improve.

Yet, another force is coming into play. New questions are being posed.

Namely, do business cards represent an unnecessary artefact of an analogue age?

An age in which communications occurred with little thought about our impact on the planet.

Put simply, many people are now questioning the ethics of organisations who continue to print business cards for their employees.

There are those who argue the carbon footprint for production is marginal.

Others posit they are part of the ritual for doing business.

Such human centred and nostalgic arguments are increasingly being challenged.

The standard defence that they can be produced in a sensitive way, utilising recycled materials, seems to be running out of road.

How then might we cope in the future without our business cards?

Anyone who has seen the ‘Abba Voyage’ show might have seen a clue to the future.

Avatars of the band communicate with the audience in a wholly realistic way without being at the venue.

So will it be a personal avatar in the future that acts as our individualised business card?

Will my avatar swap details with your avatar at the drinks party?

Will polite introductory email exchanges take place as our glasses are refilled?

Is it going to take a new collaboration between humans and machines to trump the humble business card?

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