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HiHello

A new app aims to address a key unsolved issue of the smartphone era: a replacement for paper business cards.

Why it matters: Two decades after the Palm Pilot allowed people to beam their contact info to one another, there still isn't a great replacement for the old-fashioned paper business card.

There was an app, CardMunch, that scanned in business cards and sent them back in digital form, but it went away after a series of corporate transfers. Now the founder of CardMunch — venture capitalist Manu Kumar — is giving it another try. His company, HiHello is essentially using a similar approach as CardMunch: human-verified card scanning.

Details:

  • HiHello, available for iOS and Android, will offer users 5 free business scan cards per month, while paid options, ranging from $5 to $20 per month, offer more scans.
  • HiHello launched last year as a means for creating and sharing digital business cards to anyone with a smartphone.

History lesson: There was an app, Bump, that let cell phones physically touch to share info, but Google bought it in 2013 and it faded into in obscurity. CardMunch also dealt with it, but it was acquired by LinkedIn, neglected and eventually handed off to Evernote.

Go deeper

Narrowing the employee divide

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Companies are narrowing the blue- and white-collar experience as they're forced to adapt to a worker-led market.

Driving the news: Basic office tools and concepts like corporate communications and schedule flexibility are migrating to frontline operations through investments in technology.

11 mins ago - Health

U.S. to buy 500 million more Pfizer doses to share with the world

A nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

The Biden administration is planning to purchase 500 million more Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine doses to donate to the world, officials said in an op-ed Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move represents a big step toward making the U.S. a major global vaccine supplier just as China has ramped up exports of its Sinopharm, Sinovac and CanSino vaccines, which can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures.

D.C.'s building boom grinds to a halt

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The decades-long building boom that remade Washington D.C. is screeching to a halt, undone by broader construction trends and the legacy of the post-pandemic workplace.

Why it matters: Dizzying construction has reshaped the city, reinvigorated downtown and created bustling new communities. 

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