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Office Lens gets you networking—scan business cards to OneNote, contacts to Outlook

Today’s post was written by Greg Akselrod program manager on the OneNote team.

Did you know that in the U.S. alone, over 10 billion business cards are printed each year and 88 percent of business cards exchanged are thrown out within a week? Here on the OneNote team, we’re always looking for ways to help you be more efficient, and today we’re launching a new feature to help you digitize all those business cards.

Scan business cards with Office Lens

You’ve already been able to scan documents and whiteboards with Office Lens, and now you can scan business cards in its new Business Card mode! Using technology from Microsoft Research, when you take a picture of a business card with Office Lens for Windows Phone and save it to OneNote, it will automatically recognize the card’s contact information and format it nicely into your OneNote notebook. Using OneNote on your phone, tablet, Mac or PC, you can search for text contained in the scanned business card, initiate a call to the number recognized, find their address on a map or open the attached VCF file to save their contact details to Outlook or your phone’s contact list.

OneNote business card 1

 

OneNote business card 2

Office Lens is available for free in the Windows Phone app store—try it today and let us know what you think!

Help make it better

Business card scanning works best on English-based business cards right now, but we plan to add additional language support in the future. You can help our recognition algorithms get smarter:

  1. Upload your collection of scanned business cards to a folder on OneDrive.com, Dropbox.com, or any other cloud drive.
  2. Create a sharing link. Here are instructions for: OneDrive and Dropbox.
  3. Email the sharing link to OneNoteBizCards@microsoft.com.

We’ll only use the images to improve our algorithms.

Developers—integrate business card scanning into your app for free

Starting today, developers can leverage the OneNote API to scan and recognize business cards from their app too! Head over to our OneNote Developer blog post to get started.

We hope you love these updates as much as we do. As usual, we want to hear your feedback so we can keep making OneNote better. Let us know what you think!

—Greg Akselrod and the business card scanning team

 

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