Hey, nice to meetcha! What did you say your name is again? Golly, I'm so bad with names. Actually, can you take a photo of yourself with my phone so I don't have to be bothered to remember you? Thanks!
If that sounds obnoxious or just plain stupid to you, you've been warned. It may become a common greeting if the latest app from Evernote, the company intent on "becoming everyone's second brain," takes off.
If associating names with faces is too taxing for you, Evernote Hello is a free iPhone tool that will relieve your neurons.
When you meet someone, you ask him or her to take a face photo on your phone with the front-facing camera, and enter name and e-mail information in Evernote Hello. Your new contact will receive an e-mail with your info.
The app can track the location of meetings with its Encounter function, and will display a chronological parade of the faces you've seen that you can swipe like a Rolodex version of Facebook.
"Remembering people is hard," Evernote reminds us, and granted, that's true. Unless you're Johnny Mnemonic, you're bound to forget some people. While Evernote Hello can be useful as an aide-memoire, it seems far more socially awkward.
For instance, if you can remember someone you met at a certain location but not others, it will recall everyone you became acquainted with there as well. The entries can also be synchronized with Evernote's main note-taking app so users can search them anywhere.
I can imagine a number of security concerns. For instance, whether you're comfortable handing your phone over to someone you've just encountered. Conversely, would you mind entering your photo, name, and contact info in the phone of someone you barely know?
The promo vid below makes the photo request seem easy and breezy. And maybe many users will pull it off with aplomb (taking the photo yourself seems a tad more natural to me). But I wonder whether asking a new acquaintance to help in outsourcing your memory will create the best first impression.
Hello is similar to Evernote Food, with which you can photograph and remember your feasts. A hamburger certainly won't mind if you create a profile when it meets your mouth.
Call me sentimental when it comes to human relations. Etiquette, after all, is a long-dead art. Still, I'd rather not be reduced to another database entry in someone's phone the moment we shake hands.
If it comes to that, I'd rather be forgotten.