USPS rolls out Informed Delivery service

The US postal operator United States Postal Service (USPS) is to begin emailing images of your snail mail if you live in the New York City metropolitan area, and across the rest of the US in 2016.

The Informed Delivery service will ensure that you are kept up to date with your post via your inbox, perhaps to know what has happened to that important letter from the tax office.

Unlike the failed project Outbox, that closed in 2014 for lack of federal government support, this project is a free service to people who have direct (as in, not a PO Box number) address, and will only send images of the envelope to the recipient. The Outbox project was an attempt to email you the contents of your mailbox for a fee, saving the USPS a lot of money in delivery. This failed to get federal support.

Informed Delivery has been tested in some parts of northern Virginia, around the DC area, where it has been found to be quite popular. The rollout will next be in the New York City area, and thereafter to the rest of the US. Though it only works for letter sized mail at present it is likely to include magazine sized articles in the next year or so, and will be for up to 10 images a day.

This service will suit those who are not at home for their mail deliveries, and can set their minds at ease while at work over particular mail or in incidences where mail is suspected to have gone missing on a regular basis.

The idea of digitising people their post seems a good one, if only because so much correspondence has gone to email over the years. Informed Delivery isn’t as good as Outbox but for those fretting over post (as we all do from time to time) this service will suit their needs.

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