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Beam me up, Scotty?

It wasn’t quite “Star Trek,” but it came close. Conference-goers beamed their contact information to one another instead of exchanging business cards at the Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology Stakeholders Conference in Washington last month.

Using devices from nTag Interactive, DHS stored conference-goers’ personal information in electronic name tags. Then, people kept busy during breaks by aiming their tags’ infrared signals at anyone they met who had a valuable company affiliation, e-mail address and phone number. Some people said they were impressed by how productive they could be at social networking and how easy it was to add names to their contact database.

Conference leaders also used the electronic name tags to conduct informal audience surveys throughout the conference. DHS officials posed the questions, and audience members entered their choices using the tags’ number pads.

A short time later, the survey results appeared on a large screen in front of the audience.

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