A Digital Mailbox For Snail Mail

A Digital Mailbox For Snail Mail

Outbox creates an archive of your physical mail by bringing it into the digital world for you to peruse on your iPhone or iPad.

Keerthana Jagadeesh
  • 10 july 2013

The startup Outbox makes digital copies of your physical mail and puts it into a separate online inbox that you can access via the web and your smartphones. The startup’s tag line is “A beautiful inbox for your postal mail,” and it aims to revamp the traditional postal system and how we treat our snail mail.

It seems like an attempt to revitalize and popularize snail mail in our digital age of Facebook inbox communications. Outbox‘s inbox is beautifully designed with all of the mail organized under tags such as ‘Personal Mail,’ ‘Invitations,’ ‘Bills’ and ‘Coupons.’ Users can also ask Outbox to unsubscribe them from junk postal mail.



However, while the end goal of the startup seems easy to understand, the execution of the goal is a little muddled in controversy. Outbox says that it employs its own “postmen” who will pick up your post from your house once it’s already delivered and then, open and scan all of your mail and put it online for you to access via digital devices.


Despite the 5 million dollars in funding it raised, Outbox has drawn a lot of skepticism for the privacy and security issues that come with opening a stranger’s mail. Then there’s the issue of how a postman would pick up mail that’s already delivered to your house and then bring it back to your house after it is scanned which would further delay the delivery of your post.


However, the idea of archiving every single post you receive- from invitations to that Christmas card from your aunt seems tempting since you’d never have to dig through a heap of paper to get to important mail.

Right now, Outbox is offering users free service for the first month and then, $4.99 per month. It seems like a service that people who travel a lot would want to be hooked on since they can have all their postal mail without being at home. It could even work for families who have tons of mail that needs to be kept track of. But in order to fully appeal to people, Outbox needs to streamline its execution so that it doesn’t end up complicating the already complex US Postal System.



Japanese Face Wash Creates A Perfect Rose Every Time

Arts & Culture
Work Today

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: The Desk Is Transformed Into Dynamic System Of Satellite Workstations

Our Future of Work vision is an app that frees employees from the tyranny of a static desk

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: What A People-First Workplace Must Prioritize First

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX on why employee fulfillment is a journey and not a destination


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Work

See All
Food Today

A Tiny Amount Of This Powder Could Block All The Bitterness In Food

A new substance made from mushrooms can bond with taste receptors on your tongue to overcome unpleasant flavors

Asia Today

Whimsical Dental Clinic Design Aims To Calm Patient Fears

Cheerful colors and a nod to the comforts of home are design elements tactfully aimed to help people relax


Palmer Luckey

Virtual Reality, Technology, Gaming

Mobile Today

Messenger Service Only Delivers You Updates Three Times A Day

Formal is a new app designed to help people ignore the constant stream of texts from their phone and focus on what's in front of them

Design Today

Movable Vacation House Constructed Using Concrete Boxes

The 4,000 square foot building is made up of modular frames so it can be relocated if needed due to coastline erosion

Design Today

Redesigned Electric Fan Collapses For Easy Storage

Conbox can be kept in pieces and packed away when not in use


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 24, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs august 25, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Our Future of Work vision is a service that allows companies to assemble and deliver welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth

Ai Today

LawyerBot Is Now Helping Homeless People Qualify For Government Housing

This robot helps people get out of parking tickets and provides free legal advice to those in need

Travel Today

This Head Hammock Promises The Best Sleep You’ll Ever Get While Traveling

NodPod holds your neck and back perpendicular, hopefully putting an end to sleepless and uncomfortable journeys

Mobile august 26, 2016

Get A Better Idea Of How You Are Wasting Your Time

The TouchTime app is trying to revolutionize personal task management by providing detailed insight on how to be more efficient

Culture august 26, 2016

London Telephone Box Repurposed As A Tiny Mobile Repair Shop

Tools and supplies to replace broken screens or damage are neatly stowed away in these micro-workrooms

Design august 26, 2016

Conceptual Sportswear Created Out Of Futuristic Condom Material

A Dutch fashion designer is experimenting with new methods and fabrics to make high performance clothing


Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games

Fashion august 26, 2016

Fashionable Tassel Will Ensure You Never Lose Your Valuables Again

The device is fashion meets connected tech, that will help you keep track of your belongings at all times

Syndicated august 26, 2016

Would You Wear Wool Shoes To Save The Environment?

As demand for wool shoes grows, a number of US footwear brands are heading directly to the source: the sheep pastures of New Zealand

No search results found.