When I was a kid it was always exciting to get mail in the mailbox. Now that I’m an adult, I realize how wasteful most of that snail mail is because I don’t read it. It tends to go right the trash and the stuff I do need to keep seems to get lost. On the other hand, an important e-mail that I need to keep I can archive and have pretty much forever right at my fingertips.
A service launched in San Francisco this week called Outbox that is a mail digitizing start up. The service is rather interesting and doesn’t keep all that snail mail from actually coming to your door. The way the service works is that a person swings by your mailbox three times a week, retrieves you printed mail, and then digitizes it.
Once your mail is digitized, you can then access it online. The digitized content can be accessed via the Internet, iPad, iPhone, and just about any other device you think of. If while checking your physical mailbox for you, Outbox runs across something that you need to keep, such as a package left by the post office, they will leave that package on your doorstep. Once your other mail is scanned, the company shreds it.
The service is customizable and can be used for either an entire household or a single person. One rather interesting, and somewhat disturbing, feature the service offers to those who require a key to access the mailbox may or may not sit well with the post office or your landlord. If you need a key for your box, you take a picture of it and e-mail it to Outbox. The company will then make a copy of your mailbox key using that photograph so they can get into your mailbox. The service costs $4.99 per month.