In spite of the popular buzz that is inevitably generated from any statement to the effect of “print/blogs etc are dead,” we’ve seen that communications technologies never truly die, they simply find relevance in other spheres of human activity.
In spite of the popular buzz that is inevitably generated from any statement to the effect of “books/print/blogs/RSS/etc are dead,” we’ve seen that communications technologies never truly die, they simply find relevance in other spheres of human activity. One such topic in recent times has been the changing role of the letter, around which we’re seeing a couple of interesting ideas develop.
The first is a digital stamp used by the Royal Mail in the UK, a piece of postage which we covered late last year, that serves as a content delivery platform triggered by image recognition via mobile app. As you might imagine, this is in many cases manifested as a simple promotional video thrown on top of a logo, but the idea resonates with the recently featured Mancudos stamps in Spain captured in our Future of Mobile Tagging report – through which people are able to encode rich regional information specific to the area of departure that helps provide more contextual information for the recipient.
A new development is taking shape in Denmark, which takes the approach of removing the stamp entirely to make postage delivery a more seamless process. Citizens can text a shortcode to receive a generated string of letter/number characters, which is written onto the envelope as the postage in lieu of a physical stamp. The user is charged for postage through their wireless provider. Springwise reports that a similar service exists in Germany with plans being made in Sweden as well.
These things certainly don’t impact the inevitable development of cloud-based information and transfer, but we’ll surely continue to see interesting uses of physical media to deliver information – likely to highlight the elements of human communication that newer technologies are bound to overlook.