by Sumner Lemon

Wireless Telephony – What to Do with All Those Business Cards

May 01, 20061 min

The ritual is similar the world over: Two executives meet and exchange business cards. But if you’re an executive in China, it’s just become easier to transfer that information into your electronic Rolodex. A new Motorola phone, available in China and Hong Kong, packs a 2 megapixel camera that doubles as a business card scanner.

The clamshell-style phone, called Ming, is the first Motorola handset to incorporate the card-reader function, says Feizhou Guo, a Motorola spokesman in Beijing. The device, which costs about $500, also includes a suite of applications, including a document viewer, an e-mail client, a calendar and a contact list that lets users assign digital photographs and specific ring tones to contacts.

Users can input Chinese characters using the Ming’s stylus and character-recognition software. The software allows for characters to be entered using a range of methods, including the Pinyin system for transcribing Chinese words using the Western alphabet. Other features include an FM stereo radio receiver, a built-in music player, a speakerphone function and support for Bluetooth.