“Saving Files” On swivelCard

One of the questions we get a lot is how much space a swivelCard intelliPaper USB drive has. The answer, honestly, is however much you need. In this tutorial, We’re going to show you how to “load” arbitrary files onto a specific swivelCard you can hand someone, which they (and only they) will be able to access thereafter, much like you access files on a traditional metal/plastic USB stick. We’ve also created a video of the basic steps.

Step 1

If you don’t already have one, you’ll need a cloud storage account. Cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox, basically provide you with a “Hard drive” in the cloud where you can store any files you wish. There are many options out there. Here is a list of some of the more popular ones.

  • OneDrive (15GB free)
  • Dropbox (2GB free)
  • Google Drive (15GB free)
  • Box (10GB free)
  • Copy (15GB free)

The all have their pros and cons, and we’ve only tested with the boxes (Box and Dropbox) at this point so your mileage may vary. Addressing the finer points of each is not the focus of this tutorial, though if you’re interested, there’s an excellent CNET article on the subject.

For this tutorial we’ll use a Dropbox account. If you don’t already have one, you can Sign-up for one on their website. The basic account is free, and comes with 2GB of storage space (that’s a lot of files). You can interact with Dropbox exclusively through your web browser, or you can download their app, which will install a special folder on your computer that stays synchronized with the cloud (in my opinion the most convenient way to use Dropbox). For the purpose of this tutorial, I’m going to assume you’ve already done that.

Step 2

Upload the files from your computer to your dropbox account. If you’ve installed their software, it’s as simple as dragging the files into the special “Dropbox” folder on your computer. If you’re sharing a single file with someone, that’s all you have to do. If you have multiple files to “load” on the swivelCard. I recommend creating a sub-folder in the special Dropbox folder into which you’ll put those files. I called mine “John’s Files” for this example.

To the right is a picture of what my local Drobox folder looked like shortly after I dragged John’s files into it (I have the Dropbox software is installed). Notice three of the files are still synchronizing to the cloud.

Dropbox folder cptr
Dropbox folder web
The browser view is very similar.

Step 3

Now you need to get the link to the file or folder you wish to share. Here’s a page from the Dropbox documentation that shows exactly how to do it. Basically you either right-click on the file and choose “Share Dropbox Link” from the context menu, or choose the “Send link” option next to the file you wish to share in the web interface.

Step 4

Now surf over to the swivelCard management interface at my.swivelCard.info and log in. Locate the Card you wish to associate the file or files with (you can search for it if you have many cards with the ID printed next to the QR code). Click the “Edit” link next to the card, (change the name if you wish) and paste the link you got from Dropbox into the URL field. Click save to update the system with your changes.

search for card
updating card

This specific card is now associated with the particular file in question. Associating entire directories of files is the same procedure, except you get a link to the parent folder out of Dropbox instead of a particular file. Should you need to change the files behind that card, simply log back into my.swivelCard.info and update the link(s).

Here’s a shot of what the user sees when they plug the card in. Incidentally, the files shown are collectively 13.5 Megabytes in size. But they could just as easily be Gigabytes in size.

folder view

In the near future, we plan on having mobile apps to make this process incredibly easy. You’ll be able to shoot the QR code on your mobile device, and associate that card with the content you wish to deliver with just a few taps.