Sharing My Contact Data Via Poken

pack_pokens_photo.png New gadget Poken has an interesting perspective on an old idea. Currently, networking is done through the means of business cards. Pretty much every single networking event you’ll ever go to in your corporate life, there are business cards. Now, there has been a few methods of sharing information and even the ones via Bluetooth haven’t really taken off. Poken uses RFID to do the wireless sharing (you have to high-five your Poken with another Poken) and it stores up to 64 contacts before having to upload.
The upload is done through USB. All the registration and such is done online with a pretty good website, although I have to say that when I tried it out, the integration with the social networks was lacking (it wouldn’t detect any of the networks I gave access to even though you could check them just fine at the network itself).
I was actually curious enough to look into giving these away for another site I’m working on. Let’s face it, business people network the most. But when you get right down to it, buying those 12-packs aren’t cheap. At $195USD, that breaks down to $16.25USD per piece. At a mark-up, I would imagine that most retailers would sell individuals at $19.95USD. At that price, this device is going to have a difficult time for adoption, especially when you’re taking on a well known method that’s costs you about $40USD for a box of 200.
Adoption rate will be the one thing that makes or breaks this device in my opinion. If Pokens were about five dollars a piece, then it would probably drop into the range of impulse buy. In that sense, that could definitely be the new adoption pattern for things like conferences and other things. But the biggest thing on this is trying to get it into the hands of the people. And from a marketing budget, that’s a huge task.
I’m hoping that they’re giving them away at SXSW if they have representatives there. That would actually put their name on the board easily.
Personally? I’m going to hold off getting the packs until they drop in price a bit. I see the fascination and it definitely is a unique device for contact sharing and they almost had me clicking buy before I saw the price for the 12-pack (just fyi, there is no discount that is shown by the ajax tool even for 90 packs at $16,381USD). Seriously. If they can make it for five or ten, I would consider as a marketing tactic to be selling it at that point direct or with minimal markup for a while to gain momentum. But they’re going to have to work at marketing the value of the current price point when global economics are hurting most networkers.

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