An Austin-based startup, Outbox, has an ambitious plan to turn your real mail into email, and it just might work.
The company securely takes your mail in your behalf and scans the physical mail, catalogs and bills and pushes the email to your iPad where it can be read, sorted, and stored. The company has forged a partnership with the US Mail service to act as a ‘mail interceptor’, so that when you sign up for the service, your mail will get send directly to them.
Once the mail is catalogued and pushed to your iPad, you can decide to have the mail sent physically so that personal hand-written letters or checks can be sent to you, or you can choose to have the mail shredded.
Larger items, like packages from Amazon, will get forwarded to you automatically without a delay.
This is one of the best ‘why-hasn’t-anyone-done-this-before’ ideas that I have read. This solves a real problem that millions of people have in an elegant way without any drawbacks.
Right now, the service is only available to a few dozen users in Austin as a beta test, but the company has a waiting list for those who want first crack at the service when it launches nationwide.