Lost? Don't know what the heck is going on here? Check out our faq to learn more about all that is going on in the pokenverse.

General Questions

What is Poken?

Poken is the name of the company, but it is also what we call the devices you can use to collect and exchange digital information in the real world. 

You can use Poken to: 

  • Collect and share digital business cards with the others   
  • Collect digital information from smart tags about  the things you like.

 All Poken products use NFC 





What is NFC?

NFC (near field communication) is a short-range wireless technology that enable two devices to securely exchange small amounts of data when they are placed a few centimeters apart.

NFC has many different uses. It can be used, for example, to transfer files between devices with a touch, to collect multimedia information from kiosks, for electronic money integration with prepaid cards, and for electronic public transport ticketing.



Mac OS X 10.8 introduced a bug when detecting USB devices, which impacts some USB devices and memory sticks. As a result when a poken is inserted into a USB port on a computer running Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, it does not mount automatically as a drive in the Finder window. Consequently the poken’s data cannot be off-loaded to the Poken website when you log into your web account.

Before going through the steps to have your Poken synced please check if your Java is enabled: on MAC OS X 10.8 platforms with the upgrade of Safari web browser to the latest version (6.0.3) brought by the latest MAC OS update (10.8.3) the Java plug-in gets disabled. To enable it please follow the steps below:

- visit Oracle’s Java testpage in Safari: http://www.java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp
- after a while an Inactive Plug-In message will appear
- click on it and follow the instructions, you will get a Security Warning - grant permission to run the test
- in the end you should get a message that Java is working
Steps to fix and detect your poken on Mac OS X 10.8 :
1. Download the pokenFixMLDeviceDetection.zip file and unzip it.
2. Launch the pokenFixMLDeviceDetection.dmg script to unpack the app. Then copy the pokenFixMLDeviceDetection.app file to your Desktop.
3. Insert your poken into a USB port. Then launch the pokenFixMLDeviceDetection.app application, which will prompt you for your computer's password.
NOTE: Every time you insert your poken into a USB port on Mac OS X 10.8, you need to run the pokenFixMLDeviceDetection.app application to detect your poken and mount it as a drive.
4. Now when you access the Poken website it should sync your contacts and files into your web account:
- If you already had your browser open and were logged into your Poken account, press the “sync my poken” button. If the “sync my poken” Java applet is not responding, refresh the page and try again.
- If you had not yet signed into your Poken web account, go to http://user.poken.com and log into your account after having inserted your poken and launched the pokenFixMLDeviceDetection.app .Then press the “sync my poken” button to off-load your poken.
NOTE: Please note that the Chrome browser on Mac may not allow you to synchronize and off-load your poken, depending on the Java version you are running. A Chrome browser (32-bit) cannot run Java applets with Java 7 (64-bit) on Mac. You can always use a Firefox or Safari browser instead. 

using your poken

how to get started

1. i received my new poken, now what?

you are holding your shiny new poken in its little box in your hand, great! Now all you have to do before you can set off pokening with people is activate it. take the poken out of its box and pull the body from its hand. you will see a tiny piece of plastic sticking out of the USB end of the poken hand. pull out this plastic, and you will see a light flashing at the wrist of the hand – your poken has been activated and is now ready to ‘high-four’!
you can poken, meaning connect to other pokens right away after activating your poken – you don’t necessarily have to create your account on poken.me beforehand. (cf. can i poken with people, even though i haven't created an account on the website yet? in our faq for more info)

2. can i poken with people, even though i haven't created an account on the website yet?

sure thing! you can start using your poken as soon as you've activated it (cf. I received my new poken, now what? in our faq for details). you can then start pokening right away. your poken will store all the new contacts, which will be uploaded to your account once you've registered on doyoupoken.com. until you've registered your friends will only be able to see an "unregistered" card in their timeline.

3. how do i poken with someone?

pokening with someone, meaning exchanging your social business card data with another person, is very easy. both of you should hold onto the body of the poken so that the other half of the poken, its hand, is free. both pokens need to ‘look’ at each other. put the two poken hands together for about 2 seconds without moving. this should already be enough to exchange contacts. you can check whether you have pokened successfully by taking the pokens apart again after the 2 second ‘touch’. if there is a green light glowing in both poken hands, you have pokened! the green light continues to glow for about 5 seconds, so you shouldn’t miss it. if the light flashes red, this means that the data exchange has not succeeded. maybe you moved the hands too much when touching the other, or you pokened too quickly again right after pokening with someone else. in any case you should wait until no more light is flashing (green or red) before pokening with someone. to stop the palm from glowing, just press the button once.

4. how do i upload my contacts from the poken onto my computer?

the USB connector of your poken lets you easily upload your new contacts to your poken account. it is recognized by all computers as a standard USB memory stick with a few files on it. you do not need to install any software on your computer. you only need to plug your poken into a computer that is connected to the web. depending on the OS (operating system) that you use (Mac OS, Windows, Linux) the "POKEN.HTM" may or may not launch automatically. if not, simply double-click the “POKEN.HTM” file that appears on the poken drive.

5. what are the minimum required specs for a Mac or PC to use poken?

operating system:
Windows XP/Vista
Mac OS X 10.4 or newer

Internet Explorer 7+
Firefox 3+
Safari 3

javascript enabled
cookies enabled

technicalities of the poken

1. how do two poken exchange data?

the poken devices use a proprietary RF (radio frequency) communication interface. this interface was designed to use very low energy both in standby as well as whilst transmitting data.

2. does the poken run on battery?

yes, the poken runs on a Lithium CR1632 battery. due to the low cost of a poken, it is not possible to use rechargeable batteries.

3. how long does the battery last?

in regular use, your poken's battery should last approximately six to eight months. if you use the light show effect (cf. what is the light show for? faq section) a lot or connect to hundreds of people every month, you may need to change it sooner.

4. how do i change the battery of my poken?

to change the battery, use a small flat screwdriver to delicately pry apart the top and bottom halves of the poken hand. replace the battery using the same type (Lithium CR1632) and gently snap the shells back together.






5. what do the different lights in the poken hand mean?

there are the following light modes in your poken: a green, red and orange glow, plus the ‘light show’.
the green light appears when you have successfully pokened with someone, meaning exchanged your social business card data.
the red light appears when the two poken couldn’t successfully exchange data. you will have to wait for the red glowing to stop (or simply press on the glowing button once, then the glowing will stop, too), then you can retry to poken the other person.
the orange light appears right after you have pokened with someone but only have space left for 4 or less additional poken contacts.
the ‘light show’ appears when you press the button in the poken hand for a couple of seconds. it doesn’t hold a specific purpose except for simply entertaining with its groovy lights (and at the same time it will also tell you if the battery still works ;-) )

6. what is the button in the palm for?

the button is the main communication channel for you and your poken. the poken lets you know if it has successfully pokened with another poken through the different lights glowing (cf. what do the different lights in the poken hand mean? faq section). additionally, you ‘communicate’ with the poken device through clicking the button:

  • click the button once if you want to stop it from glowing red/green, so you can continue pokening right away
  • click the button twice to put your poken into ‘ghost mode’ (cf. what if i'm not sure i really want to poken with someone, but i don't want to deal with the awkwardness of refusing to poken? & how to…ghost someone? faq sections)
  • press the button for a couple of seconds to enjoy the colourful ‘light show’ and ensure yourself that the battery and diodes are still working.

7. what information is stored on the poken device?

there is no personal information stored on your poken. the only thing contained in your poken is a random number we call a “poken ID” and some encrypted codes that relate to other poken you’ve pokened.

8. how many contacts can be stored on a poken?

loads! your pokenSPARK can store 50+ contacts and the pokenPULSE is up to even more. each time you successfully poken the little palm will glow green. it will blink red if you did not poken successfully, in which case, just wait a few seconds for the glowing to disappear and try again. once you exceed the maximum of contacts a poken can hold, the poken palm will glow red each time you poken (note: this is different from when it blinks red to let you know that you did not connect successfully). each poken contact after the maximum number will be saved, but it replaces the first contact stored on your poken. not so cool... so just avoid all that and upload your contacts before exceeding the limit and you can be sure not to lose anyone.

9. is there additional storage space on the poken USB stick i can use?

yes, pokenPULSE has additional storage space of 2GB.
pokenSPARK does not have additional storage – it is read-only. a 1GB key is simulated, but in reality the key contains 16KB of memory, and these KB are used to store your pokened contacts and the firmware.

10. i've lost my poken, what now? can the finder access my data?

by default you will be prompted to provide your password each time you insert your poken into your computer. if someone else plugs your poken into their USB port, without your password they cannot do anything with it. even the contacts you’ve accumulated in your poken are safe: they are encrypted using a very advanced encryption method and are only accessible in your account. furthermore, since you’ve already uploaded your previous contacts, your data is safe and sound. you can simply get a new poken and, when you register it, link it to your previous account (cf.how to …connect multiple pokens to one account? faq section). you'll be all set to keep socializing as if nothing happened. additionally, under 'devices' in your poken account, you can mark your poken as lost and write a message to whomever finds it and plugs it into their computer.

11. what if i'm not sure (yet) if i really want to poken with someone, but i don't want to deal with the awkwardness of refusing to poken?

no worries. that’s why poken have two modes: “normal” and “discrete.” your poken is in normal mode by default. every time you poken by simply touching two poken hands together in a “high-four” greeting you share your poken card. to switch your poken to discreet mode (and avoid awkwardly telling people you don’t want to poken with them), just double-press your poken’s palm. “ghost” is selected by default for your poken’s discreet mode. any pokening you do within the next 30 seconds will only share a ghost card. when the contact you’ve ghosted uploads their poken contacts to their new friends list they will only see a ghost card and they will not know to whom it belongs. you, however, will see their public card, as you normally would, and can at that point decide whether or not to accept them to your list of contacts. if you do accept them, then your public card will replace the ghost card in their new friends list.


1. what is the difference between pokenSPARK™ and pokenPULSE™?

the most striking difference is of course the different design & shape. also, pokenPULSE™ has additional 2 GB storage space. but all in all, pokenSPARK™ and pokenPULSE™ is your social business card. period :-)
please refer to the product section to get all the info.

2. are pokenSPARK and pokenPULSE compatible?

yes! absolutely. you can use a spark together with a pulse without thinking about it twice.

3. is there a conference badge version of the poken?

we have tested a demo version at the Lift conference in geneva/switzerland this february. it is definitely something we will develop further in the future. but currently we are fully dedicated to perfecting our core product offering, both on and offline.

common hiccups

1. my poken keeps glowing red when i try to poken with someone

the most common reason for this to happen is the fact that you don’t keep the two poken still enough when you try to connect (cf. how do i poken with someone? faq section). wait until the poken palm stops glowing, and try again. if it keeps glowing red every time you try pokening with a certain poken, try pokening with another one first (if possible). sometimes it works afterwards with the ‘reluctant’ other poken, too. if this still doesn’t help, it might be that your poken is defective and we will have to troubleshoot with our engineers. please write an email to info@poken.com with a description of the troubles you have been encountering. hopefully we will be able to get your poken functioning again. otherwise, you will be asked to send in your defective poken hand, and we will send you a new poken.

2. my poken doesn't connect to my poken account

in order to make sure that your poken connects to your poken account and uploads all the new contacts you have collected while pokening, you have to insert your poken into the USB drive on your computer. either a web browser window opens automatically and you can log into your poken account directly. or if a web browser does not automatically appear, make sure you double-click the “Start_Poken.html” file that appears on the poken drive.
if you do not enter your poken account in the two above-mentionned ways, but log in directly through the poken.com website, your poken will not be connected to your account and you will not be able to transfer your newly collected contacts.
there is a simple way to check whether your poken device is connected to your account: in the pokenHUB (your poken account), you will see a 'detect' box with a pokenSPARK on the top right of the page: it the poken is connected, the poken palm will glow green.

3. the people i pokened with don't appear in my 'new friends' list

there can be two reasons for this to happen: either you have not properly pokenend/connected with the other poken and have thus not exchanged data (cf. how do I poken with someone? faq section) or your poken is not connected to your account in order to update your ‘new friends’ list (cf. my poken doesn't connect to my poken account faq section)

how to...

1. ...connect multiple poken to one account?

it is very easy to add another poken to your account. just enter the poken device into your USB port. depending on your computer settings, either a web browser window opens automatically and you can log into your poken account directly. or the web browser does not automatically appear – then you have to double-click the “Start_Poken.html” file that appears on the poken drive. once you logged into your poken account as you usually do, the new poken device is automatically linked to it. you can check the different poken that are linked to your account under ‘devices’.
the number of poken you can link to your account is not limited, you can add as many as you like!

2. …ghost someone?

the ‘ghost’ function allows you to pass on a blank/ghosted poken card to someone you don’t want to share your details with, but don’t want to tell him/her that directly (cf. what if i'm not sure i really want to poken with someone, but i don't want to deal with the awkwardness of refusing to poken? faq section). you can decide later on when synchronizing your poken with your account whether you want to accept this contact in the ‘new friends list’ (in which case your ghosted card will appear as a normal card in the contact’s friend list) or if you still want to refuse him/her.

3. …switch between my different identities?

there used to be the possibility to switch between different identities that can be passed on when pokening with someone. due to usability issues this function no longer exists. by default, each poken device contains one card. if you go to settings in your pokenHUB and enable multiple cards, it then allows you to store more than one card on your device (up to 5). you can select which cards go on the poken by checking the boxes for each card. each time you poken now, all the checked cards will be shared. the only way to define which card is shared is through the pokenHUB now, not through clicking the palm of the poken.

4. …lock a poken if it is lost/stolen?

if you have lost your poken or if it has been stolen, you have the possibility to ‘lock’ it in your account and it will no longer be accessible.
go to ‘devices’. press the blue ‘mark lost’ button, and it will be locked. you may also write a message to the person who finds it. don't forget to add your email or phone number as a way to contact you. you can activate and de-activate the device as many times as you want.

5. …interact with a contact who has LinkedIn and Hyves, whereas i have MSN and Facebook?

well, it’s just like languages: if you meet someone who speaks some other languages, you try to find a common one for your conversation. in your poken account you will see your new friend's poken card showing the social networks to which he belongs. if you’d like to interact with him using the tools that Facebook provides, we make it easy for him to open a Facebook account. if you prefer to use the tools MSN provides, we make it easy for you to be connected to him on a new MSN account.
what we bring are a few tools that help in this first interaction with new friends:

  • you can see all the networks your friends are on (if they chose to list them), and you can instantly “connect” to them on those networks
  • if many of your friends are on a network that you are not a part of, then you'll see it and you can open an account with that network to more easily connect with those friends. chances are you’ve been missing out on something!

using the member hub


1. how do i create my account?

creating your poken account is very easy: simply go to the www.doyoupoken.com page, click on the ‘sign up/join’ link, and you will be taken through the process.

2. does using the online account on www.doyoupoken.com cost extra?

no, your poken account on our website www.poken.com does not cost anything. the only thing that might cost you something is the poken itself (unless you let someone offer it to you as a gift! ;-))

3. can i create an account, even if i don't have a poken yet?

yes, that is possible. but it goes without saying that the account won’t be of much use unless you have a poken with it to upload your contacts from.

4. how do i associate my poken with my already existing account?

it is very easy to add your poken to your account. just enter the poken device into your USB port. depending on your computer settings, either a web browser window opens automatically and you can log into your poken account directly. or the web browser does not automatically appear – then you have to double-click the “Start_Poken.html” file that appears on the poken drive. once you logged into your poken account as you usually do, the new poken device is automatically linked to it.

5. can i download my virtual business cards to my computer?

yes, you can download all your contacts you have on your poken account to vCard. once you log in to your pokenHUB, you’ll find the link to download all contacts in the 'contact list' box. right below 'poken friends' is the blue 'download vCard' button.

6. can i create different profiles/identities for me?

there used to be the possibility to switch between different identities that can be passed on when pokening with someone. due to usability issues we have stopped promoting this.
if you really do want to try this out, there is an explanation on how to manage two identities in the faq section ‘how to…switch between my different identities?’.

social networks

1. which social networks are supported at the moment?

here is the list of the networks that are currently supported:

- Ameba
- Badoo
- Bahu
- Bebo
- Brightkite
- Digg
- Dopplr
- Facebook
- Flickr
- Friendfeed
- Friendster
- Glocals
- Gree
- Hangame
- Hatena
- Hi5
- Hyves
- Last.fm
- LinkedIn
- Meetup
- MeinVZ
- Mixi
- Mixxt
- Myspace
- Netlog
- Ning
- Orkut
- Plaxo
- Sch├╝lerVZ
- Skyrock
- SmartFm
- Spoke
- StudiVZ
- The Quad
- Tuenti
- Twitter
- Usgang
- Viadeo
- Vimeo
- Wer-kennt-wen
- Xing

the Instant Messaging Services currently supported:

- GoogleTalk
- Skype
- Yahoo! Messenger

2. can i propose another social network?

yes you can! if you feel an important social network site is missing on our list, please post your suggestion on our technical support page. go to ‘feedback’, and enter your idea. that way, other users can comment on your suggestion, and we can get an idea if a lot of people support this proposition.

3. if i add a social network to my poken card, will my contacts then be automatically linked to my social network profile?

unless your profile on your respective social network is freely accessible through the net by default, the people you have pokened with will not be able to access your profile directly. if we take the example of Facebook, they will not be automatically added as a ‘friend’. by clicking on the icon of the respective network on your poken card, people will find you automatically on this social network , but will still have to request to be added by you in your ‘friends’ list.

poken card

1. how do i customize my poken card?

differentiate yourself from the masses, give your poken card a totally personalized look! a minimum should be that you upload a picture, so that your new contacts will be able to identify you easily. go to 'cards' and you will find the blue 'edit card' button there. click on 'change' beneath the foto icon, and you will be able to upload a photo directly from the web or from your computer.

if you’d like to personalize the background of the card or the font colour, go to 'cards' once again, click on the blue 'edit card' button, and you will find the blue 'edit design' button here.

2. i'm confused about what can be seen on my cards vs. online vs. downloadable vcard

you can add information to your poken card, and edit your full poken profile. you can also export this information via the vcard function. what's new is that your full profile can now be seen in the contact list- as opposed to what was just shown on your card before. this is a little different, so you may be surprised to see your birthday (for example) revealed on your full profile. your profile contains all the information you've entered into your poken hub account. if there is anything there you don't want to be shared, you should remove that information from your profile.

but, you're probably wondering, what about being able to choose? well, you can create multiple profiles. each profile has both a poken card and a full vcard associated with it. they match each other and any/all information uploaded for a given profile will be available to anyone with whom you poken using that identity card, but not with any information you've put into other cards. (identities)

so, for example if isabelle has one profile that's called "isabelle professional" (you can name them anything you want) and she only wants to put her work information into that profile (the name of the company at which she works, her work email, title, url of the business, etc.). there will be a vcard for "isabelle professional" that contains the same information uploaded to that profile. isabelle also creates a profile called belle elle in which she uploads things she's more interested in sharing with friends- flickr pics, bebo and facebook names, skype id, etc. all of belle elle's information will be visible in that profile and downloadable via vcard. but, isabelle professional's information will not be accessible to those that have pokened with belle elle.. make sense? whew. hope so.

we will also be working on further, specific privacy options (like an a la carte menu) for each identity, but we can't give you everything at once…


1. how can i organize my contacts? how does 'tag' work?

you can put some order into your contacts by tagging them, meaning you can group them into different categories. what kind of categories/tag names you chose is totally up to you. maybe you want to tag people by the company they work for, or by the place you have met them (conference, club etc.).
to add tags, you have two options:

click on the respective card in the timeline. go to 'view details' there, and you will find the tag-function in the box right below the poken card. or you can go to the 'contact list' widget in the dashboard area, and check the boxes of the friends you would like to give a specific tag. then, click on the blue 'tag' button to add the tag name.

2. how can i find a specific contact?

finding a specific contact is very easy. in the 'dashboard' section of your poken account, go to the 'contact list' box and start typing the name into the white 'filter' box.


1. can my session time-out automatically?

yes. if you forget to log out of your poken account, or if there is no action in your poken account, your session will be timed-out automatically after 30 minutes.

is there an a.p.i.?

we have a strong application programming interface (a.p.i.) which is currently available by request. if you're interested in it please send us an email at api@poken.com providing us your name, details about your company and of course your needs regarding the use of our a.p.i..


buy a poken


1. where can i buy a single poken?

have a look at the ‘shop’ section on our website to find a list of webshops.

2. where can i buy several poken?

if you want to buy several poken at once, buy a poken pack of 12 through our website! you’ll not only make your friends very happy, but you’ll also enjoy a very attractive discount on the price per piece (cf. how much does a poken cost? faq section). check the ‘shop’ section, and you’ll find out more.

3. where can i find a local distributor in my country?

so far, we have official poken representatives in the following countries: belgium, germany, japan, south africe and the USA. you can find their contact details in the ‘contact us’ section of our website.

how much?

1. how much does a poken cost?

the suggested retail price of a PokenSPARK in a local shop is EUR 14.99/USD 19.95/CHF 19.95. a poken pack of 12 will cost you EUR 180.00/USD 240.00/CHF 240.00. these prices include approximative VAT (for the european union, switzerland and the united states). please note that depending on your country, the VALUE ADDED TAX may differ!!!

2. what are the payment options?

you will be able to pay your orders on www.poken.com through Paypal. there is also the possibility to purchase your poken packs on account.

3. what are the shipping costs from switzerland to my country?

shipping costs depend on the country you live in, and on the mode of shipment you choose. you can choose between economy, priority and signature (with a tracking number) shipping. when entering the amount of poken packs, the country you want it shipped to and the mode of shipment on the www.poken.com order page, the shipment cost will be automatically calculated and shown at the bottom on the right hand side of the page.
please note that shipping without signature is at the buyers own risk.

4. what is the customs fee for my country?

we declare the poken packs in a way that there should not be any customs fee charged. but please note that there may apply VAT if you order from an online shop outside your country.

5. will there be any additional tax/fee on my shipment (value added tax)?

that is possible, yes. depending on your country’s regulations and policy, you will have to pay a VAT (value added tax) on your order. the percentage very much depends on your country.


delivery time

1. how long will it take until i receive my order?

within the european union, with economy shipping your order should arrive within 5-10 business days (depending on the country still). selecting priority or signature shipping ensures that your order will arrive within 3 business days. signature shipping has the added value of a tracking number, priority does not.
outside the EU, economy shipments take 7-15 days to arrive in your mailbox. priority or signature will take 3-7 days. here as well, signature shipping has the added value of a tracking number, priority does not.

2. what kind of shipment should i choose?

there are 2 things to consider for sure: one is the cost and linked to it the delivery time, and the other is ‘security’. you will have to decide whether you want the poken pack to arrive as quickly as possible in your mailbox or whether you want to wait up to 2 weeks until delivery. and you will have to choose whether you want the added value of tracking your shipment (and being able to find it in case it gets ‘stuck’ somewhere on the way) with the signature shipping option.

specific designs

1. can i order specific designs?

currently, when you order a 12-pack you will get a random selection of body designs. get ready for a surprise!
due to increasing requests though, you will soon be able to order specific designs according to your needs and wishes.


sell a poken

country representatives

1. who is the country representative in my country?

we currently have official Poken affiliates in the following countries: belgium, germany, japan, south africa and the USA. you can find their contact details in the ‘contact us’ section of our website.

2. how can i become a country representative in my country?

if you are interested in becoming a country representative, we would love to hear from you! please write to info@poken.com and our business development responsibles will then get in touch with you as soon as possible.

authorized reseller

1. who are the authorized resellers in my region/country?

in order to find poken resellers in your country please have a look at the shop page where you will find the contact email addresses of authorized resellers.

2. how can i become an authorized reseller in my country?

if you are interested in becoming a poken reseller, please contact our sales team at reseller@poken.com. we're looking forward to hearing from you!

3. i have an (online) shop through which i sell poken. can i be listed as an authorized reseller on  www.poken.com?

please send an email to reseller@poken.com, including the url of your web shop, and all other details you would like to provide us with. our sales team will be happy to talk to you about possibilities.


fan & reseller pages

spreading the love?

1. i have a poken fanpage/blog and would like to be listed on www.doyoupoken.com

got something to share with the pokenverse? we'd love to include more videos, applications, blog posts, and other creative contributions to this page. do, please, submit your awesomeness to: info@poken.com

2. i am reselling poken through my webshop. can i get a mention on www.doyoupoken.com?

please refer to the ‘sell a poken – reseller’ section of the faq for more info.


job opportunities

think you're poken?

1. i'd like to work for poken, how do i proceed and who can i contact?

awesome! so you would like to join us and be part of the team that shapes the poken spirit?! we’re always on the look-out for innovative and talented people who are passionate about their work. please don’t hesitate to contact us. send your unsolicited application including a resume and a cover letter to cool_jobs@poken.com and we'll keep you in mind.