Campus Preview Weekends (CPW) at MIT plays a big role in students’ decisions on whether or not they want to come to the school for the next four years. A key factor for students is their experience with the people that they meet that weekend, particularly other admits.
Oftentimes, the first thing admits do after the visit is try to find the other admits they meet on Facebook. While sometimes successful, other times it can be a frustrating process because of issues such as forgetting how to spell their names, multiple entries of the same name, etc. MIT has tried to tackle this problem in the past by distributing USB devices that allow for the exchange of contact information via infrared signals, but this has quickly become obsolete in the increasingly mobile world.
touchBase has created a business card that looks and feels like a traditional paper cards, but its information can be downloaded to a touchscreen smartphone with just a simple tap. They want a pack of these personalized business cards to be given out to each admit during CPW as a part of their welcome package.
The business cards leverage of the capacitive touch technology that is present in all touchscreen smartphones, regardless of operating system. Embedded within each card is a thin layer of conductive material. The conductive material in each card is arranged in different dot patterns, thus registering as if they were “fingers” touching the phone at different positions. When the card is tapped on a smartphone, the associated app will identify the unique pattern and download the contact information from a cloud server. Prior to coming to CPW, users can specify what information they are willing to share via the cards. If they wish, users can even choose to provide a link to their Facebook accounts to make for easy “friending”.
Team: Sai To Yeung, ’14, Frank Ni, ’14, James Allen, ’16, Jon Warneke, ’15