One of the most time-consuming (and boring) after-effects of attending an industry conference is the deluge of business cards you bring home. Despite your best intentions to cull them and put important contact information in your database, let's be honest, it rarely happens. It's a pretty safe bet that the business cards you gave out are probably at the bottom of desks and briefcases, too.
Back in the day, Palm handheld device users could simply beam their contact information from one device to another via infrared technology, but that feature appears to have been dropped from the most recent Palm device to hit the market. Since devices with infrared aren't very popular nowadays anyway, I doubt the feature will be missed, but it was a neat idea.
A new service launched recently that aims to replace business cards entirely by capitalizing on the fact that nearly every business person carries a mobile phone today. Contxts lets registered users create an online profile with contact information that anyone can access by sending a text message with your username to the service via mobile phone. They'll receive a text message in return with the contact info you've provided and -- presto -- no more fumbling with business cards or scraps of paper.
As an alternate method, you can text the service yourself, provide your colleague's phone number, and they'll receive a text message containing your contact information without having to do a thing. Of course, regular text message charges through mobile service carriers apply so don't send your contact info unsolicited.
It's not necessary to be a registered Contxts user or sign up for anything to receive text messages from the service. Users receive a notification anytime someone requests contact info, and all contacts you accumulate can be exported to a Mac or PC.
Contxts is still in alpha, but its free for anyone that wants to give it a whirl right now. Its creators acknowledge they still have a lot of tinkering to do, but this is a nifty little service that shows a lot of promise.