Cathie Anderson

Cathie Anderson: Lodi businessman hopes to re-invent greeting card market with MemoryTag

Yet another holiday season found Lodi businessman Robert Beadles struggling to gather his staff to sign company greeting cards. He wanted a better way to accomplish this annual ritual - and devised a product called The MemoryTag to do it.

By October, mainland U.S. consumers will get their first look at The MemoryTag as it rolls out in such stores as Walgreen’s, 7-Eleven, Rite Aid and Dick’s Sporting Goods, Beadles said.

The MemoryTag brings together several pieces of technology to allow consumers to send video greetings to their friends, relatives or business associates. Beadles takes the old-school greeting card, adds a QR barcode and provides a smartphone app. Using the app, a consumer scans the QR code, tapes a video greeting and uploads the message to The MemoryTag database. Next they send the greeting card. When the recipient receives it, he or she can scan it with any QR reader or type in the alphanumeric code at to watch the video message.

“In December of last year,” Beadles said, “we went live with a test at Walgreens, Walmart, Don Quijote and 7-Eleven stores in Hawaii. We sold over 90 percent of our product... from Dec. 14 to Jan. 1.”

Beadles said he brought on Mixed Martial Arts fighter Urijah Faber as a minority partner last December. Since then, Beadles has secured deals with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a number of its fighters and music bands such as Moonshine Bandits and Digital Summer to use The MemoryTag technology in promotional materials. On Saturday, Faber will take on young gun Alex Caceres as part of the UFC’s 175th event in Las Vegas. The fight will be televised at 5 p.m. on Fox Sports 1. TV viewers won’t see the floor of the UFC Fan Expo at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. There, Faber’s partner and his staff will be choreographing appearances by UFC fighters who will sign autograph cards with MemoryTag greetings.