Scanaroo takes cards out of wallet, and onto phone

Had a chance to sit down for a great chat last week with Mark Noack and Lars Howlett from the Half Moon Bay Review, our local weekly.  Looks like they ran it today.  We met at the local Peet's, and then took a little stroll over the local Ocean Shore ACE Hardware store.  Thanks, guys…looking forward to chatting again soon!  Here's a link to the article. -cfc

Local techie designs iPhone app

'Scanaroo' takes cards out of wallet, and onto phone

By Mark Noack [ mark@hmbreview.com ]
Photo: Lars Howlett, HMB Review

Hmbreview It was a common scenario: Christopher Carfi was about to make a
purchase at the Ocean Shore Hardware on Main Street, but he didn't have
his rewards card necessary to get a discount.

No problem. Carfi
whipped out his trusty iPhone, clicked through his applications, and
brought up a picture of his rewards card, barcode and all.

“You've got your card on your cell phone?” asked cashier Charisse Sarandria, amused.Carfi, a Half Moon Bay resident, not only
uses his smart-phone to store and organize his personal cards, and he
also designed a program that made it possible. “Scanaroo” — his program
for capturing and storing all the clutter that clogs wallets,
particularly business cards and store “rewards” or loyalty cards. The
program is available for the iPhone for 99 cents.

“When
you have more than six cards in your wallet, this comes in really
handy,” he said. “If you look 18 months from now, this’ll be
commonplace.”

The 42-year-old tweets, he blogs, he designs iPhone programs — Carfi is a textbook techie.

In
2002, he founded Cerado, a technology consulting company, and has
worked primarily in advising large companies on how to utilize the
latest tools to interact more profitably with customers.

Carfi
got a bit of an epiphany from the sitcom “Seinfeld.” He recalls an
episode in which the ill-fortuned character George Costanza tries to
squeeze another wad of paper into his bloated wallet overflowing with
various cards. The wallet can’t hold it all, and all of his cards and
money explode out into the city streets.

Carfi says his ardent
belief in technology as a means to help people couldn’t be encapsulated
in a better anecdote. He says the guiding principle of technology is to
bring customers more tools for making educated purchases, and steering
his company to design smart-phone applications seemed like the best way
to join that wave.

Scanaroo is one of the seven-person company’s
first forays into cell-phone software. It isn’t a revolutionary
application; in fact, an iPhone user could take pictures of wallet
cards herself and reference them as regular picture files for the same
purpose. Carfi’s program simply gives an easier, organized, and secure
format to do that.

“The benefit is simplicity and organization,” Carfi said. “We’ll be continuing to improve Scanaroo and support new features.”

Cerado
plans to continue developing more iPhone applications and porting over
Scanaroo to the other smart-phone devices, such as the popular
Blackberry.

For now, Cerado says he hopes his small, 99-cent
application takes off among his fellow technophiles. So far his company
has reported a few hundred downloads.

As the program gains
speed, Carfi says it’s only a matter of time before someone tries to
punch a hole in an iPhone to get a free Subway sandwich.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *