HiHello :: A super convenient way to exchange business cards

by Volker Weber

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A long long time ago, we started sharing business cards via IR blasters between Palm Pilots. A decade later came Bluetooth file exchange, then AirDrop, then NFC. All of them limited by technology silos. I have just been pointing people to vowe.net/contact and the embedded vowe.net/assets/VolkerWeber.vcf - but now there is a simple solution for the rest of us. And it works both on iPhone and Android.

Download the app, enter your email address and get a link via email. Open the app again and enter your full name, followed by your email address and a selfie. HiHello creates four business cards to share: work, personal, phone, email. You can share different sets of information with different people.

The app creates a vcard for each business card and displays it as a QR code. The other person just has to point their camera to the screen and import the data into their contacts. You can also text or mail the vcard if scanning is inconvenient.

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HiHello lets you add a widget to your screen, so you don't have to hunt for the app. I only have one complaint: my phone number gets translated to a national format instead of keeping the +49-176... format. This should be fixed in the next release.

HiHello is a cloud service. It has a clear privacy policy which covers things that have not been implemented yet, like public profiles.

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I like the recommendation, but shouldn’t a wallpaper on the lock screen with a qr code of your vcf card, generated by something like this


do the same trick? They use the Google Chart API which might be a privacy nightmare in itself but at least it is self-hosted.

BTW we had a qr code in 2003 on our business cards, which could only be read by one phone: the Sendo X. Funny times.

Yves Luther, 2018-08-21

Yes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Go ahead and create four different vcards, plus the QR codes, put them in a photos folder, make sure you know which is which, and you have replicated this app. Also store the vcards in your contacts app so you are able to share them via email or text.

Or just use HiHello. :-)

Volker Weber, 2018-08-21

I think the idea is nice. But the implementation is not yet ideal - not surprisingly for a new app.

Am I missing an option or do I really have to re-enter the information that is already available in my address book?

And really, if a piece of information used in multiple cards is changing (e.g. address changed), I need to change it in all cards one-by-one?

I would prefer to be able to link HiHello to one of my addressbook entries and then select which fields of that entry to include in any given card.

Ragnar Schierholz, 2018-08-21

Well, you can build something completely different. But when you reference local vcards how would the cloud account know you changed them? And what about the other cards you can add later? I have one for Ute that I can give out. Yet more links? Nope. HiHello is a simple solution that works well.

Volker Weber, 2018-08-21

I agree, the application will become more complex, but not necessarily much more complex for the user. I have many applications that synchronize a cloud backend with a local app data store. I must admit that I was not aware of HiHello's cloud interface and I have no use case to have cards for other people than myself.

Ragnar Schierholz, 2018-08-21

Maybe that is not the best approach to product management.

Volker Weber, 2018-08-21

I never claimed to be the product manager for this product. I am just providing feedback based on the use case that I see for myself. And I think that is what you are doing as well, aren't you?

Ragnar Schierholz, 2018-08-22

I don't suggest you are the product manager.

Volker Weber, 2018-08-22

Dein berechtigter Wunsch nach dem internationalen Rufnummernformat wurde soeben erhört.

Markus Jabs, 2018-08-24

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