Conference wallflowers rejoice: A new nametag will do your mingling for you. The nTAG -- which looks like the offspring of a traditional nametag and a very small computer monitor -- allows nametags to talk among themselves, using infrared technology. "It's a great icebreaker," says Bill Bourdon, senior account manager of A Good Seed Production, a communications production company that recently used 2,000 nTAGs at a tech conference.
Here's how the system works: Badge Wearer A enters info into a database at registration, which is loaded onto the card. As Badge Wearer B approaches, the tags quickly figure out what A and B have in common. "Hi, Pat," the tag might read. "We're both looking for new CFOs." The tag then downloads contact information, and e-mails it back home. The badges also have a feature that enables event planners to send survey questions to tag wearers and receive results back from them. Rick Borovoy, the co-founder of nTag Inc., based in New York City, reports that event sponsors and companies can rent the tags for about $40 per person.