A few weeks back I attended a small official function. I hovered near the food and spoke to a couple of people I knew, and even a few I didn’t. We ‘losers’ watched others “working the room” — something I just hate. One acquaintance interrupted at least two conversations I was having so she could further some lobbying aim or other.
Now it seems there is a new electronic name tag, the nTAG, that can “help” both the ‘losers’ and the ‘schmoozers’. I’m not sure how many people would actually speak to me though if they knew beforehand that I’m a sci-fi watching, Mac-loving gadget geek. You feed in some details before the event and the electronic name tag helps get conversations going.
The brainchild of Boston inventor Rick Borovoy, the product is called nTAG: It measures 4 inches wide and 3 inches high, and hangs around the conventioneer’s neck from an adjustable lanyard. Wearing the nTAG is a bit like sporting a tiny, six-ounce TV screen, except the screen beams messages to fellow conventioneers like, ”Hi, Jane, I like strawberry ice cream, too.”
For those who do their networking at cocktail hour, when the lights are dim and the bar is stocked, the nTAG lights up in the dark. It uses infrared sensing, radio frequency identification, a screen, and three control buttons to connect people with mutual interests or needs, including people who might otherwise gravitate toward folks they already know or hover around a buffet table instead of employing the art of schmooze.