I’ve been meaning to get into posting online community and online dating related topics for a while now and here it is. I’m especially happy to introduce you to a fellow Swiss startup that makes handy little tools called “Pokens” to help you connect with other people.
Let’s assume you’re getting to know a lot of people at a party or a business meeting. How can you possibly store all of their contact information in an easy way (even more now that everyone has at least 10 different online social network profiles and no one’s asking for phone numbers anymore)? Enters Poken a cute little usb device that you’re going to carry on you from now on.
The little pandas, aliens or geishas (at the time being there are 8 designs) will store all of your networking information and upon “high fiving” another Poken you’ll exchange addresses and may connect online later. Later, meaning whenever you have any computer with Internet access ready, you can sync your contacts to your own profiles without much further ado.
Your bee will store up to 64 contacts and keep them handy for you.
Here’s how Poken communicates with you about its capacity:
Each time you successfully poken the little palm will glow green. It will blink red if you did not poken successfully, in which case, just wait a few seconds for the glowing to disappear and try again. When you have four or less contacts left to store on your Poken the palm will glow orange after you’ve pokened.
Poken is relatively new and hence its user base is rather small in the US and the UK for example. But sure enough, once it takes on it spreads fast, as in the Netherlands where it’s all the rage at the moment. You can see that by checking the latest google maps/Poken mashup which shows the recently active Pokens.
Other tools than the maps mashup include:
Let’s have a look at the 8 initial Poken designs:
The Poken hand pulls out of the body, revealing a USB connector. Insert the USB connector into any computer with web access to easily upload your new contacts to the Poken web database.
Individual Pokens can be bought from online retailers for around EUR 15. If you want to actively share the Poken love then you might enjoy to get a 12 pack from the company itself.
While I’m sure such an interactive way of exchanging user information will be the future for offline/online syncs, it will be interesting to see wether Poken can actually mobilise a critical number of users to make this concept a hit. Also we’ll be watching the development closely in this area. Will they offer other products for business users? Or maybe just other, even easier ways to accomplish this task?
Honestly I would get a pair of Pokens only because of their distinctive, cute look. Certainly an interesting marketing move.