Sunday, January 24, 2010

POKEN is the new cool social business card, but is it also the greenest alternative to paper cards?

I read about POKEN at Treehugger and this cute gadget can definitely become an alternative to business cards, but is it a greener alternative as well?

Firstly, what is POKEN? as their website explains, it's "a new social business card. Not a flat, white piece of plastic that you stick in a wallet. But one that uses the latest RFID technology to keep people connected in a fun way. POKEN helps people to spark up conversations and keep them going, in all kinds of ways and in their own personal style.Founded in December 2007 and headquartered in Lausanne (Switzerland) with partners around the globe, the mission of Poken, its products, employees, fans and users is to bring people together in their own way and on their own terms"

But you've got to see - check out this video:

So is it greener? Jaymi Heimbuch explains at Treehugger "While the POKEN seems like a great alternative to paper business cards, especially for those heavily involved in online social networking as it links up with Facebook, Twitter and 45 other networking sites. However, it doesn't seem to be a much greener alternative than what services we already have available. It seems much more appropriate that if you're taking your business info digital, you use services that are digital on the devices you already own, like your cell phone, to transfer the information. We'd rather see an app for that, than a whole new electronic device."

Heimbuch is right, but we can't ignore the "coolness factor", which makes the POKEN an attractive alternative to the traditional paper biz cards. I guess no app will be as cool and memorable as the Obama POKEN for example..

Is the POKEN greener for example than business cards printed on recycled paper? it's hard to tell. I guess we'll need to wait for a life cycle assessment to determine it. In the meantime, if you want to purchase a cute POKEN, the price is $19.95 and there's a minimum order of 12.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Plant a tree for every book you read!


Anonymous said...

I would much rather have a sustainably produced business card than a cheap piece of plastic that requires me to replace batteries. Besides the MOST important part of the business card is not just the contact details but the graphic way in which they are conveyed. I stick to my World's Greenest Business Cards available at

jaymo said...

Great article!

I have used Poken for some of my client's promotional needs. Also, I personally use Poken as my digital business card. I love it, but I will love it even more when everyone I interact with has one.

I agree with Jaymi Heimbuch when he said, "if you're taking your business info digital, you [should] use services that are digital on the devices you already own." With that being said, I am always carrying at least one USB flash drive on me. The Pulse has 2 gigs of memory, and replaces the need to carry a separate usb flash drive. (granted I need more memory, but I am sure the people over at Poken Inc. are working on releasing a new Poken with greater memory capacity.)

Also, I noticed that you said you have to buy them in packs of twelve. Not so, there are several online distributors that will sell individual Pokens, as well as multipacks at a discount. I went through, because I got a 25% discount off for using a promo code 'January2010'.