One of the fancy things about conferences like IIW is that lots of entrepreneurs and start-up people mingle with each other, which is how came to "poke around" a little. POKEN is a cute little way to give the traditional exchange of the business cards and the following procedure of scanning/creating vcards a tad bit easier...

Dave Brown of POKEN had a little session on how to facilitate the exchange of contact information without the hassle of activating bluetooth, entering data manually or other hurdles. One can get a small (and cute) token  called poken (USB and wireless, sor of NFC) with an individual ID in it and that "connect" to other poken owners just by bringing the two pokens together. Easy as a handshake - especially cute as the pokens look like 4-fingered hands ;-)

During this process, the pokens actually handshake and exchange their IDs, which are then stored in the flash part of the device. Once you hook the poken up to your computer, it reads the IDs recently learned and finds the corresponding contact information (in the InfoCard format) online. This InfoCard contains as much information as the related poken owner wants it to contain, enabling one to share a single website, email, phone number or other attribute, or offer full profile information if desired. Fun and useful fact: one can chose between up to three "profiles" depending on the context you meet a poken-person in.

I overheard that the poken could also be put to use as sort of a simple hardware credential, but I will need to investigate further... Meanwhile, if you are interested, check out You can connect your personal poken to your profile there and start "pokin'around".